Update, 11:11 a.m. EDT: The death toll in Tianjin, China, has risen to 104, Chinese state media reported. Chinese President Xi Jinping said authorities should learn the lessons paid for with blood in Wednesday's warehouse blasts, according to Reuters, citing the official Xinhua news agency. The number of people number of people killed had been reported at 85.



Update, 8:12 a.m. EDT: Fires at the site of twin blasts in China's Tianjin that have so far killed 85 people reignited early Saturday, Al Jazeera reported. Chinese state news agency Xinhua reportedly showed a man earlier being pulled from a shipping container.

Update, 5:57 a.m. EDT: The evacuation of residents and displaced people from Tianjin Saturday was prompted by fears that a change in wind direction could blow toxic chemicals inland, Reuters reported.

Evacuees were advised to wear long trousers and face masks, according to a post on the official microblog of the Tianjin branch of the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China.

Many of those evacuated were displaced people who had taken refuge in a local school, according to reports.

Update, 3:42 a.m. EDT: Rescue workers Saturday pulled a survivor from the rubble left by the explosions in the Chinese city of Tianjin earlier this week, according to media reports. 

The identity of the survivor, who, according to reports, was male, has not yet been made public.

The discovery came as authorities for the first time confirmed the presence of deadly sodium cyanide at the blast site, the Associated Press reported. It also came amid heightened tensions in the city, as relatives of missing firefighters stormed a government news conference Saturday, demanding news of their families.

Government officials have not revealed the exact number of firefighters who are still missing after the blasts.

Update as of 2:11 a.m. EDT: Authorities in the Chinese port city of Tianjin began evacuating residents from an approximately 2-mile zone surrounding the site of recent blasts at a chemical storage warehouse Saturday, citing fears of contamination, according to state media reports.

Armed police began carrying out the evacuations after sodium cyanide was found at the site, AFP reported, citing Chinese media reports.

"Out of consideration for toxic substances spreading, the masses nearby have been asked to evacuate," state-run news agency Xinhua quoted officials as saying.

The evacuations came as fresh explosions took place at the blast site Saturday. Fires, which rescue teams have been struggling to contain, reignited shortly before noon, triggering fresh blasts, and sending smoke billowing into nearby residential areas.

At least 6,000 people were already displaced by the blasts, according to CNN.

Original story:

The death toll from the explosions that rocked the Chinese port city of Tianjin earlier this week rose to 85 late Friday, Chinese state media reported. The jump in casualties came as news emerged that the warehouse which was the source of the explosions was located closer to residential areas that regulations allowed.

The headquarters of the rescue teams working in the city announced the jump in the death toll from 56 to 85 Friday night. Twenty-one of the dead were firemen. Meanwhile, 721 others remain hospitalized, including 25 critically wounded and 33 in serious condition, Xinhua reported.

Authorities in Tianjin are still working to identify exactly what hazardous chemicals were being stored at the warehouse facility that exploded late Wednesday, though Chinese media reported that officials found traces of cyanides and other chemicals, which posed serious health risks in two underground drains that exceeded safety limits by up to eight times. The two drains were sealed to prevent contamination.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the warehouse was within several hundred yards of apartment buildings, a highway and a railway line. National safety regulations forbid situating large warehouses of hazardous chemicals within 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) of residential areas or major transportation routes.

The explosions seriously damaged many of the nearby residences, blowing out windows and doors, and leaving some buildings with visible external cracks.

Censors in the country have sprung into action in the wake of the blasts, in order to mute criticism of the government on social media. Censorship rates on Weibo, a popular microblogging platform, were up tenfold after the explosions, compared to earlier in the month, King-wa Fu, an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong’s journalism school who built censorship tracker Weiboscope, told the Journal.

Chinese authorities Friday also defended firefighters who initially hosed water on a chemical fire in the warehouse, a response foreign experts said could have contributed to causing the explosions, Reuters reported.

The State Council, China's cabinet, said a nationwide inspection of dangerous chemicals and explosives would be launched in response to the disaster, along with a crackdown on illegal activities to strengthen industry safety.

"The disastrous explosions at the ... hazardous materials warehouse at Tianjin caused huge loss of life and injuries, economic damages and social impact," the State Council work safety commission said on its website.

"The lessons are extremely profound."