KITCHENER -- A woman who now lives in Kitchener spent Tuesday connecting with loved ones who live in Beirut, and fielding calls from concerned loved ones around the world.

A massive explosion in Beirut Tuesday killed more than 70 people and left more than 3,000 injured, officials said.

Abir Zahal, who lives in Kitchener, said she spent the day with her family, making sure her loved ones were okay.

Her sister, brother-in-law and nephew all live in Beirut and Abir says they were caught up in the chaos surrounding the blast.

"At the beginning, they think it's an earthquake, so they don't know what to do," Zahal said. "All the glass inside her house broke and the noise was too much."

Just as Zahal was sharing news about her sister with CTV News, she received a phone call from her son is in Switzerland, who was looking for news about their family.

A short time later, another friend in Beirut sent Zahal photos of the aftermath.

Zahal said she's thankful her family wasn't injured, but said everyone is shaken up.

"Just, they were so scared," she said.

Zahal says she came to Canada three years ago and said she's glad she wasn't in the middle of what happened on Tuesday.

"Thank God I'm not there, because what's happening in the past made me come here," Zahal explained.

With files from The Associated Press