Lebanon's government resigned during a cabinet meeting on Monday to discuss early elections following last week's catastrophic explosion in Beirut, the country's health minister has said.
"The whole government resigned," Hamad Hassan told reporters at the end of the meeting.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab was expected to travel to the presidential palace to "hand over the resignation in the name of all the ministers," Mr Hassan said.
Pressure has mounted on the government to step down amid growing anger from a public that holds it accountable for the explosion that damaged half the capital last Tuesday.
Three ministers had already offered their resignations ahead of the meeting, while Foreign minister Nassif Hitti resigned the day before blast, warning the country was at risk of becoming a failed state and the government seemed incapable of reform.
Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni, a key negotiator with the International Monetary Fund over a rescue plan to help Lebanon exit a financial crisis, prepared his resignation letter and brought it with him to a cabinet meeting, a source close to him said.
The cabinet had been scheduled to meet to consider early elections promised by Mr Diab, following two nights of violent anti-government protests in Beirut at which demonstrators erected mock gallows and called the overthrow of the country’s ruling class.
But amid implacable anger in Lebanon and foreign governments distancing themselves, the government's position had become untenable.
"We need total dissolution," said Ghada Jannoun, a volunteer helping with a clean up operation in Beirut's Martyrs' Square on Monday.
At an international donor conference on Sunday, governments made it clear that foreign aid would bypass the government to be “directly delivered to the Lebanese population”.
USAID acting administrator John Barsa said on Sunday that American financial aid "is absolutely not going to the government."
The cabinet was formed in January with the backing of powerful Iranian-backed Hizbollah group and its allies. It was tasked with enacting reforms to address a financial crisis and the demands of a nationwide protest movement that forced the resignation of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri last October.
At least nine members of parliament have now also resigned over the disaster, as the death toll has risen to more than 200 people and over 6,000 wounded, Beirut governor Marwan Abboud said Monday.
Dozens remain missing, he said, including many foreign workers.
The army has ended the rescue phase of the search for survivors at ground zero of the explosion at the port, where rescue workers had been looking for missing port workers who might have been trapped alive in the rubble.
The 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate blamed for the blast was seized from a cargo ship in 2013 and left at the port since then, despite port officials repeatedly warning of the danger the stockpile posed.
Losses from the blast are estimated between $10 billion to $15 billion and come as the country was already suffering a crippling economic collapse. The homes of an estimated 300,000 were unlivable in the immediate aftermath of the blast, with hundreds of buildings irreparably damaged.
Foreign governments pledged over £228 million pounds for immediate humanitarian relief on Sunday, including a further £20 million from the UK, on top of £5 million already made available.
Lebanon’s entrenched political class, which has been in power since the end of the civil law, has been blamed for decades of mismanagement and corruption that produced the current economic collapse, as well as the conditions in which a huge amount of explosive material could be stored in the capital for six years.
While President Michel Aoun has rejected an international probe into the blast, a Lebanese judge began questioning on Monday the heads of the country's security agencies on Monday.
The head of State Security Maj Gen Tony Saliba was the first to be interviewed by Judge Ghassan El Khoury, with more generals scheduled to be questioned.
About 20 people have been arrested over the explosion, including the head of the port and the head of Lebanon’s customs and his predecessor.
Officials say dozens of people have been questioned, including two former ministers, about why nothing was done about the ammonium nitrate stored at the port.
As recently as July 20, State Security had warned of the danger of the chemical, in a report sent to the offices of the president and prime minister.