The mayor of West, Tommy Muska, has said that approximately 50-60 houses in a five-block radius from the plant were "heavily damaged".
He added that all residents of the West Rest Haven nursing home, which is very close to the plant, have been evacuated to "safe locations".
Some of the residents left homeless by the explosion in West will spend tonight sleeping in a school hall in the town of Abbott, around five miles up the road.
Staff at the school have lined up camping beds in the gym in preparation for bus loads of refugees to arrive later today.
One employee at the school said there was space for up to 100 people, but that he had been warned to "be prepared to take any number of people".
This footage shows homes that have been damaged by the explosion in the Texan town of West:
A local police official has said that between three and five firefighters have been reported missing.
They are thought to have been at the fertiliser plant fighting the initial fire when the explosion happened.
Tragic events in Waco - my thoughts are with everyone affected and all those responding to it
A police spokesman has said that there is "no indications that this is anything other than an accidental fire," but that the fertiliser plant is being treated as a crime scene as a precaution.
"We are not indicating that it is a crime, but we don't know," he added.
A police official has said that between five and 15 people have been killed as a result of the explosion at a fertiliser plant in West, Texas.
Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton of Waco Police Department said the number of causalities has risen to at least 160.
Two local residents have described how tried to rescue elderly people from a nursing home a short distance from where the blast happened.
According to their accounts, some people were buried under rubble in their rooms and young children were among those in "critical danger".
Pope Francis has invited his follower on Twitter to join him in praying for the victims of the explosion at a fertiliser plant in Texas:
Please join me in praying for the victims of the explosion in Texas and their families.
One survivor of the fertiliser plant explosion in the town of West has described what happened to him:
– resident of west
There was just a major, major explosion. The windows came in on me, the roof came in on me, the ceiling came in. We lost all communication when the power went out. The whole street is gone.