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Beirut: 135 dead and 5 thousand injured. The EU activates civil protection


The story of the most dramatic hours of the ANSA correspondent - VIDEO [ in hell_66e0681f-d68b-47d4-b683-a572e356f0ec.html]. Explosions in a fire in an ammonium nitrate deposit. The US think it was an attack. The Pope's prayer. Mattarella's message (ANSA)

The number of victims of the explosions in Beirut has risen to at least 135 . This was announced by the Lebanese news channel Al Manar TV, which cited the government. The wounded are around 5,000. Dozens of people continue to be missing. 

Lebanese health minister Hamad Hasan advises anyone who can leave Beirut, devastated by two powerful explosions. Hasan - quoted by the local media - states that dangerous materials released into the air after explosions could have long-term fatal effects. Rescue teams search for the missing.

What is ammonium nitrate?

Over 300,000 people were left homeless , the city governor said, stating that, according to an initial estimate, the material damage amounted to over three billion dollars. The outbreak caused serious damage in about half of the city territory.

" The EU has activated the civil protection mechanism following the request of the Lebanese authorities, and will coordinate the urgent dispatch of 100 highly qualified firefighters, with vehicles, dogs and equipment specialized in search and rescue in urban areas. They will work with the Lebanese authorities to save lives, "announced Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic. "The EU is ready to provide assistance and support. Be strong": in a tweet, the President of the European Council Charles Michel. The high representative of foreign policy, Josep Borrell, also expresses "full solidarity and total support for the families of the victims, the people and the Lebanese authorities".

"We pray for the victims and their families, and we pray for Lebanon, so that with the commitment of all its political and religious social components it can face this tragic and painful moment, and with the help of the international community, overcome the serious crisis that is going through, "said the Pope in the general audience. 

Card. Is "an appeal to the States of the world" Bechara Boutros Rai, patriarch of Antioch and all the East, president of the Assembly of Catholic patriarchs and bishops of Lebanon, launches in the aftermath of the "mysterious explosion" that has torn the capital Beirut apart. "Beirut is a devastated city - writes the cardinal in his appeal sent to Sir - it is a catastrophe". The Maronite patriarch speaks of "a war scene without war". The Lebanese cardinal turns to all the states of the world "to provide immediate help needed to save the city of Beirut".

Mattarella sent a message to the President of the Lebanese Republic, Michel Aoun: "We embrace our Lebanese people with affection. Our thoughts go to the numerous victims of the tragedy and their families, while with deep hope we wish the wounded a prompt and complete recovery. " 

Mika's pain

US military officials think the explosion in Beirut was an attack, a bomb of some kind: American President Donald Trump said so. "I met with our generals and it seems that it is not an industrial accident. According to them, it appears to be an attack, a bomb of some kind," Trump explained adding that the US will help Lebanon.

Explosions in Beirut, cars raised from the ground and rubble everywhere

Source: ansa

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