fallback-image

Beirut port blast: Countries offer help for Lebanon's devastated capital

As Lebanon struggles to cope with the aftermath of Tuesday's huge explosion that devastated much of Beirut, messages of support and offers of help have come from abroad.

The country's leaders along with the rest of the population have been deeply shocked. Dozens of people have been killed and thousands injured after the two blasts, the second of which flattened much of the port and damaged buildings across the capital, sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky.

Health Minister Hassan Hamad said that hospitals were barely coping and offers of aid were pouring in from Arab states and friends of Lebanon.

Beirut’s governor, Marwan Abboud, broke into tears as he toured the site around the devastated port area. “Beirut is a devastated city,” he said.

Prime Minister Hassan Diab vowed that “those responsible will pay” after the explosion, which has been blamed on confiscated chemicals that had been stored at the port. He appealed for international help for Lebanon and declared Wednesday a national day of mourning.

The explosion came amid ongoing tensions between Israel and the Hezbollah military group on Lebanon's southern border. An Israeli government official, quoted anonymously by AP, said Israel “had nothing to do” with the blast.

President Donald Trump said the United States "stands ready to assist Lebanon". At the start of a White House news conference on the coronavirus, he said the explosion “looks like a terrible attack”.

When asked by a reporter if he was confident that it was an attack, Trump said: “I met with some of our great generals and they just seem to feel that it was”.

There has been no evidence for this and experts have cast doubt on the US president's comments. There were two explosions at the port and it's thought fireworks could have been a factor setting off the second, bigger blast.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo extended his “deepest condolences”. “Our team in Beirut has reported to me the extensive damage to a city and a people that I hold dear, an additional challenge in a time of already deep crisis,” he said in a written statement.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted to say France "stood by Lebanon's side", adding that the country was sending aid and "several tonnes" of sanitary material. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said also on Twitter that his thoughts and prayers were with those "caught up in this terrible incident", and the UK was ready to provide support.

The explosion raises concerns about how Lebanon will continue to import nearly all of its vital goods with its main port devastated.

There is also the issue of food security in Lebanon, a tiny country already hosting over 1 million Syrians amid that country’s long war.

Estimates suggest some 85% of the country’s grain was stored at silos destroyed at the port.

Related Posts

Heavy rains, landslides leave 18 dead in south India

Heavy rains, landslides leave 18 dead in south India

Snoop Dogg’s company makes first investment in Europe in cannabis start-up

Snoop Dogg’s company makes first investment in Europe in cannabis start-up

Bitcoin nears record high amid ETF debut. What is an ETF and can it convince the crypto world?

Bitcoin nears record high amid ETF debut. What is an ETF and can it convince the crypto world?

Day 2 of the 50th Paris Judo Grand Slam 2021

Day 2 of the 50th Paris Judo Grand Slam 2021

No Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *