Fri, 25 Sep 2020

European Union Pledges Aid, Support for Lebanon

Tasnim
05 Aug 2020, 22:37 GMT+10

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The EU has offered its full support to Lebanon and activated its Civil Protection Mechanism (CPM) in response to the crisis caused by a recent deadly blast in Beirut.

- World news -

The CPM is a tool which helps the bloc co-ordinate aid from its member states.

EU officials will urgently deploy "over 100 highly trained firefighters, with vehicles, dogs and equipment, specialized in search and rescue in urban contexts," EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič said in a statement from published Wednesday, CNN reported.

The Netherlands, Greece and the Czech Republic will participate in the scheme and France, Poland and Germany have also offered to assist Lebanon.

"The EU has also activated its Copernicus Satellite mapping system to support the Lebanese authorities in assessing the extent of the damage," Lenarčič added.

"We stand with Lebanon and its people and are ready to mobilize further help."

Lebanese authorities said at least 100 people have been killed and some 4,000 wounded in the massive explosion at the port in the capital, Beirut.

The explosion on Tuesday sent shockwaves across the city, causing widespread damage even on the outskirts of the capital.

The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear. Officials linked the explosion to hundreds of tons of confiscated ammonium nitrate that were being stored in a warehouse at the port for six years.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun assembled the country's High Defense Council following the explosion.

Aoun said that it was "unacceptable" that 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate were stored in a warehouse for six years without safety measures, according to statements published on the presidency's Twitter account.

He also pledged that those responsible would face the "harshest punishments" and said a two-week state of emergency should be declared.

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