Over 73 killed, 3000 injured as huge explosions rock Beirut
Lebanon is in mourning.
Two huge explosions rocked Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday, leaving at least 73 people dead and 3000 others injured.
The blasts hit the Port of Beirut at around 6.10pm local time (1610 GMT), shaking buildings all over the city while causing massive casualties and damage.
The causes of the blasts remain unknown, but Lebanese Interior Minister Mohammad Fahmi said the explosive chemicals stored at Port of Beirut may have led to the explosions. “Customs’ authorities must be asked about the reasons behind storing such chemical materials at Port of Beirut,” Mr Fahmi said. Following the explosions, Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab immediately declared yesterday a national mourning day for the victims of the explosions.
Meanwhile, Mr Diab appealed for friendly countries to help Lebanon overcome the repercussions of the disastrous explosions. Lebanese President Michel Aoun also called an emergency meeting of the Higher Defence Council, which later on Tuesday declared Beirut as an afflicted city while urging the Lebanese cabinet to announce a state of emergency in the city for two weeks.
The council also urged the cabinet to allocate funds for hospitals to help them treat the injured, and to contact all friendly countries to seek support and set up a fund to provide compensations for those affected by the disaster.
It recommended hosting the families, whose houses were destroyed, in schools, while importing glass and controlling the prices of all materials needed to fix the damaged houses. During the meeting, Mr Diab insisted that those responsible for the disaster must be punished, noting that it is unacceptable to store 2700 tons of ammonium nitrate, the explosive chemicals, which have put people’s lives at great risk.
Many countries in the region have expressed solidarity and sympathy with Lebanon over the explosions that have dealt a further blow to the country already plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic and an economic crisis.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said via his official Twitter account that Iran is ready to offer help to Lebanon. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the great and resilient people of Lebanon,” Mr Zarif tweeted.
“As always, Iran is fully prepared to render assistance in any way necessary. Stay strong, Lebanon,” he added.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi also expressed sympathy with the Lebanese government and nation over the incident, while announcing Iran’s readiness for providing help to the Arab country.