Disasters & Accidents

Arab League will provide Lebanon with continued support

Beirut, Aug 8 (efe-epa).- The Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmad Abul-Gheit said on Saturday the organization will provide Lebanon with “continued and lasting” support after a fatal explosion, as rescue operations continue in Beirut.

 “We intend to place a new item on the agenda of the Economic and Social Council to provide continued and lasting support to Lebanon,” Abul-Gheit said after his meeting with Lebanon President Michel Aoun in Beirut, according to the state-run NNA news agency.

“The Arab reaction was very quick and provided Lebanon with its revolutionary needs. I listened to a report from His Excellency the President that there is now sufficiency in medical supplies,” he added.

He said he would present a report on the situation to the members of Arab League in preparation for following actions in the wake of the explosion that killed more than 150 people, injured thousands and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

Lebanese and international rescue teams on Saturday continued their efforts in the search for bodies and survivors under the rubble and around Beirut’s port, with no specific estimations on the number of missing people.

The teams, equipped with dogs and drilling equipment, are searching under tons of debris left by the explosion that took place on Tuesday, killing at least 154 and injuring more than 5,000, according to the most recent official figures.

The government has yet to provide an exact figure of the number of people reported missing but sources have estimated it could be between 60 and 100.

Authorities have set up hotlines to communicate with relatives of victims and can track people who have been missing since Tuesday.

The explosion struck Beirut after a fire broke out at a warehouse in the port where nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate had been unsafely stored for years, leading to a blast wave that hit buildings more than five kilometers away.

The general of customs has been arrested and the director of the port has been placed under house arrest, as have 15 other people while authorities investigate the incident.

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