EASTON, Pa. - At our Lady Of Lebanon Catholic Church in Easton, candles lie at the feet of the Holy Mother.

Those candles were part of a vigil held for the port city of Beirut, Lebanon following a deadly blast that destroyed or damaged buildings for miles.

"One of my aunts lives about 4 miles away from the port," said Bethlehem resident Mirna Traugers.

Trauger's aunt Amal sent her video of the blast's impact. That video shows shattered windows, cracked walls and doors blown off hinges.

Luckily, her aunt wasn't home when it happened.

"They're traumatized, they're not sleeping well," said Trauger. "They are scared and they're very, very angry."

The blast couldn't have come at a worse time for Lebanon. The country is in the midst of political unrest, a financial crisis and a health system overburdened by the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's just a tremendous loss and devastation it will take years to recover from," said George Daniel, Our Lady of Lebanon Church member.

Daniel says the Lehigh Valley Lebanese community is rallying to help Lebanon.

The church is taking donations through its website. Donations are also being accepted at https://www.stmaron.org/how-you-can-help.

Daniel says the money will go directly to vetted charities on the ground helping with the crisis.

"That's our number one priority right now we have 300,000 people that are homeless, we have hospitals with people that can't even get treated because they're filled," said Daniel.

Officials say the explosion was caused by more than 2700 tons of ammonium nitrate being stored in a port warehouse. How it ignited is still under investigation. But Daniel says no matter what the cause, the people of Lebanon need help now.

"It's a real humanitarian crisis," said Daniel.

The Lebanese Red CrossAnanias House, and Save the Children are all taking disaster relief donations for Lebanon.

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