Beirut: Over 50 people have been killed and around 2,500 wounded in two huge explosions that rocked Lebanese capital Beirut, Health Minister Hamad Hassan said. The blasts took place Tuesday evening (around 6.10 p.m. — local time), shaking buildings all over the city while also causing severe damages and casualties, Xinhua reported.
Hassan was quoted by al-Jadeed TV as saying that more than 50 people were killed and 2,500 others were injured in the blasts. The number of casualties were expected to rise as the counting continued.
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab has urged his country’s allies to help Lebanon overcome the repercussions of the disastrous explosions. Meanwhile, Diab declared Wednesday a national mourning day for the victims of the explosions.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun called for an emergency meeting of the Higher Defence Council to discuss the reasons and repercussions of the explosions. The causes of the blasts remained unknown, but Lebanese Interior Minister Mohammad Fahmi said that the explosive chemicals stored at Port of Beirut may have caused the explosions.
“Customs’ authorities must be asked about the reasons behind storing such chemical materials at Port of Beirut,” Fahmi said.
Many countries in the region 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 on Tuesday that Iran is ready to offer help to Lebanon after the huge blasts caused massive casualties and damages in Beirut.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the great and resilient people of Lebanon,” Zarif tweeted.
“As always, Iran is fully prepared to render assistance in any way necessary,” he said.
“Stay strong, Lebanon,” he added.
Turkey Tuesday expressed sorrow over the massive casualties and damages caused by the huge explosions in Lebanon. Two Turkish citizens were slightly injured in the blasts, said the Turkish Foreign Ministry in a statement.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi extended his condolences to Lebanon over the deadly explosions that rocked the Lebanese capital.
“My sincere condolences and sympathy go to the government and people of Lebanon, over the tragic explosions that happened today in the Lebanese capital Beirut,” Sisi wrote on his official Facebook page.
Sisi also wished speedy recovery for those injured in the blasts, while extending condolences to the families of the killed.
Palestine has also expressed its solidarity with Lebanon following the massive explosions in Beirut. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said his country is ready to provide any support it could to Lebanon to help it recover from the tragedy, while sending his condolences to the families of the victims.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye said in a press statement that Palestine is “ready to put all its capabilities” for the service of Lebanon and provide any needed assistance immediately.