Home World News Thais offer help to blast-hit Beirut

Thais offer help to blast-hit Beirut

by qualityeducation
The scene of an explosion near the port in the Lebanese capital Beirut. Two huge blasts rocked the Lebanese capital, shaking buildings and sending huge plumes of smoke billowing into the sky. (AFP photo)

Thailand stands ready to provide humanitarian assistance to Lebanon following the devastating explosions in Beirut on Tuesday which killed over 100 people and injured thousands.

According to the city governor, Marwan Abboud, the huge blast at Lebanon’s main port in Beirut has left 300,000 people homeless and caused damage across half of the city estimated yesterday at more than US$3 billion.

Thailand’s Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said on Wednesday the government is willing to provide help such as medical supplies or blood plasma upon request. Foreign Ministry spokesman Cherdkiat Atthakor said there were about 200 Thais working in Lebanon though there had been no reports of any Thais killed or injured.

The Foreign Ministry and the Royal Thai Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, are monitoring the situation. Those affected by the tragedy can contact the Royal Thai Embassy in Riyadh on: (+966) 055 462 2005 / 055 798 2002 (consulate), (+966) 050 900 2103 (labour) and website http://www.thaiembassy.org/riyadh/th/home.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Mr Don issued messages of condolences to their Lebanese counterparts.

Meanwhile, Lebanese officials said 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilisers and bombs, are thought to have provided fuel for the blast. The chemicals had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures, which lead to the massive explosions.

Thai Defence Ministry spokesman Lt Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich said Thailand has proper measures in place to ensure the safety of such chemicals. Ammonium nitrate imports are treated as an armament, their storage and use regulated by the Arms Control Act. “We can trace how much has been used, and what it is used for. Everything must be recorded and can be examined.”

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