Flags fly at half mast in respect of those killed in Belgian terror attacks
At least 26 people have been killed and many more injured in blasts at Zaventem airport and Maalbeek metro station, this morning.
One Briton is thought to have been caught up in the explosions.
Emergency services in the Belgian capital were scrambled at around 8am following two explosions within the airports departure area and the metro station.
Belgium's federal prosecutor has confirmed all three explosions were "terrorist attacks."
All flights have been cancelled flying to and from the airport with the city being placed in lockdown.
The attacks come days after the arrest of Paris bombing suspect Salah Abdeslam. Since his capture the Belgian capital has been on high alert.
In a mark of respect, today, both the Belgian flag and the Union Jack are flying half-mast on South Shields Town Hall while the Union Jack flies at half-mast at Jarrow Town Hall.
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Richard Porthouse, said: "Our thoughts are with the people of Belgium at this tragic time and we stand in solidarity with them. The flags at both Jarrow and South Shields Town Halls are flying at half-mast as a mark of respect.
“Brussels is at the heart of the European community and undoubtedly people from across Europe and the world will be affected by these atrocious events. Our hearts go out to all those that are affected.”
The foreign office is urging anyone affected by the incident to follow the instructions of Belgian security authorities and to contact their airline for information about flight arrivals and departures.
People are being asked to remain alert and vigilant in particular in places where there's a high concentration of people.
UK police are calling on any Britons who were in Brussels and have pictures or video of the attacks to upload the material to a special website so it can be passed on to investigators.
Images or clips can be uploaded at www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk.
The Belgian Crisis Centre has given the Belgian telephone number 0032 2753 7300 for concerned family/friends or 1171 for general enquiries.