Volunteer Firefighter International

World Sends Rescue Aid to Beirut, Firefighters Missing

Beirut’s governor says 10 firefighters are considered missing; supplies and rescue experts pledged

By Aljazeera

The United Nations is working closely with the authorities in Lebanon to support ongoing response in the aftermath of the massive explosion, UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters.

“The World Health Organization is working closely with the Lebanese Ministry of Health to conduct an assessment of hospital facilities in Beirut, their functionality and needs for additional support, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic”, he said.

“Specialists are being dispatched to Beirut at the moment to assist in the emergency response, both from the United Nations and multiple Member States. Experts are en route to support urban search and rescue operations. Teams are also equipped to conduct rapid assessments about the situation on the ground and help coordinate emergency response activities.”

French President Emmanuel Macron announced he would fly to Beirut, and two planeloads of French rescue workers and aid were expected to touch down on Wednesday afternoon.

Macron’s office told The Associated Press that the French leader will meet with Lebanese political leaders but provided no further details. Lebanon is a former French protectorate and the countries retain close political and economic ties.

Meanwhile, the EU commission said the plan is to urgently dispatch over 100 firefighters with vehicles, sniffer dogs and equipment designed to find people trapped in urban areas.

The Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Poland and the Netherlands are taking part in the effort and other countries are expected to join.

Read more updates here.

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