At least 20 people have died and hundreds more have been injured in a series of explosions in Equatorial Guinea, local media report.
Around 300 people were injured following the blasts, which happened near a military barracks in the main city of Bata on Sunday.
Images on social media showed a huge plume of smoke and widespread damage.
The cause of the explosions is unclear, but officials told the TVGE television station that it was not an attack.
State television showed people looking for survivors in the rubble and lifting up debris from collapsed buildings.
In a series of tweets, the health ministry asked for volunteer health workers to go to Bata Regional Hospital. It has also asked for blood donations due to the high number of casualties.
Hasta ahora se desconoce el número total de fallecidos pero se estima que hay alrededor de 300 heridos.
⚠️Pedimos la contribución de donantes de sangre.
⚠️El personal sanitario voluntario que quiera ayudar que se persone al Hospital Regional de Bata. pic.twitter.com/ZycOH7w9dJ
— Guinea Salud (@GuineaSalud) March 7, 2021
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter
It listed three hospitals where the “seriously and very seriously injured” were being transferred.
Some local hospitals have been overwhelmed by the number of patients admitted, TVGE reported. It broadcast images of wounded people lying on the floor of a crowded hospital.
Video posted on social media of the aftermath of the explosions showed a chaotic scene of distressed people fleeing as smoke drifted over the area.
“We hear the explosion and we see the smoke, but we don’t know what’s going on,” one local resident, Teodoro Nguema, told the AFP news agency.
In a tweet, France’s ambassador Olivier Brochenin sent his condolences to the victims, describing the event as a “catastrophe”.
The Spanish embassy has said its country’s citizens should remain at home and issued a series of emergency numbers.
Equatorial Guinea was a Spanish colony until independence in 1968.