Lebanon hails IRCS for humanitarian aid

August 5, 2020 - 19:1

TEHRAN — Head of the Lebanese Red Cross George Kataneh has thanked the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) for its immediate readiness to provide humanitarian assistance to the victims of the massive explosion in the port of Beirut.

Speaking in a telephone conversation, Kataneh told IRCS Chief Karim Hemmati that Lebanon is currently in the phase of emergency accommodation and food distribution among the victims and the health department is evaluating hospitals, Mehr reported.

Karim Hemmati, for his part, offered condolences of the Iranian nation and government with the Lebanese nation, saying, “We spare no efforts to provide any assistance that Lebanon needs.”

Iran was set to send humanitarian aid to Lebanon on Wednesday afternoon.

So far, at least 100 people were killed and thousands injured in a massive explosion in Beirut, which sent shock waves across the Lebanese capital.

Witnesses in Cyprus, barely 100 miles from Beirut, say the blast was not only heard but felt. Local media reported Cypriot authorities being placed on alert within minutes of the explosion with many comparing it to a similar blast in southern Cyprus nine years ago at a munitions dump in the naval base of Mari.

In the aftermath of the attack, hospitals asked people with non-life-threatening injuries to stay at home because they were unable to cope with a huge influx in patients. Several hospitals were damaged in the explosion. In Gemmayze district, medical staff have been forced to treat patients in a car park, while others have reported shortages of key medicines including antibiotics.

The Red Cross is coordinating with the Health Ministry to set up morgues because hospitals have become so overwhelmed, Kettani has told Reuters.

Rescue workers are continuing to search through rubble at the port, according to the civil defense director-general, Raymond Khattar, who said it is believed people remain trapped.

MH/PA

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