PM Modi, Pope Francis express shock over Beirut explosion UN, WB assure help

A man inspects the damage following Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area, Lebanon August 5, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pope  Francis and other international dignitaries have expressed shock and sadness over large explosion in  Lebanon’s Beirut city on August 04 resulting in largescale casualties and destruction of assets. “Shocked and saddened by the large explosion in Beirut city leading to loss of life and property. Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families and the injured,” PM Modi says on Twitter. Following the massive explosion,  Lebanon’s cabinet has declared a two-week state of emergency in the capital city and handed control of security in the capital to the military. At least 135 people are fared killed and  5,000 others injured, says ALZAJEERA. The blast at port warehouses storing highly explosive material was the most powerful in years in Beirut, already reeling from an economic crisis and a surge in coronavirus infections. “It’s like a warzone. I’m speechless,” Beirut’s mayor, Jamal Itani, told the Reuters News Agency while inspecting the damage on Wednesday that he estimated would cost billions of dollars. The explosion sent shockwaves across the city, causing widespread damage as far as the outskirts of Beirut. Officials said they expect the death toll to rise further as emergency workers dig through the rubble to search for survivors. Beirut’s city governor Marwan Abboud said up to 300,000 people have lost their homes and authorities are working to provide them food, water and shelter. The World Bank Group said it is ready to assess Lebanon’s damage and needs after a devastating Beirut port explosion and work with the country’s partners to mobilise public and private financing for reconstruction and recovery. The World Bank said in a statement that it “would be also willing to reprogram existing resources and explore additional financing to support rebuilding lives and livelihoods of people impacted by this disaster.” An Iraqi delegation headed by the Iraqi oil minister met Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab and informed him that Baghdad will provide fuel aid to Beirut, according to a statement by the Lebanese government. Lebanese local media said wheat will arrive on Friday from Iraq as an aid after the blast left the Lebanese capital short on wheat, according to the governor. For inputs, picture courtesy to ALJAZEERA.

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