PM: Malaysia ready to assist Lebanon

A massive warehouse explosion sent a devastating blast wave across Beirut, killing more than 100 people and injuring nearly 4,000

by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK/ pic by BERNAMA

MALAYSIAN leaders from both sides of the political divide expressed their sympathies and urged for actions to be taken to aid victims of the Beirut port explosion early yesterday morning.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (picture) said Malaysia is ready to provide any assistance required by Lebanon in the tragedy.

“Malaysia extends condolences to the Lebanese people over the explosion tragedy at the Port of Beirut that shook the nation this morning. We pray that they would persevere in the face of this difficulty,” Muhyiddin said in a statement posted on his official Facebook page.

Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said all Malaysians in Lebanon are reportedly safe, which was confirmed by the Embassy of Malaysia in Beirut.

He said the embassy has also advised Malaysian residents to remain indoors.

“Malaysia stands together in grief as our thoughts and prayers accompany the strong people of Lebanon. We stand ready to support in any way we can,” he said on Twitter.

AFP reported that a massive warehouse explosion sent a devastating blast wave across Beirut, killing more than 100 people (at press time) and injuring nearly 4,000.

The toll is expected to rise after it was reported that the warehouse located in Beirut’s port area stored a large quantity of highly explosive materials.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun said 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilisers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures.

Aoun declared three days of mourning and called for a two-week state of emergency after an inspection tour at the explosion site.

Video footages show smoke billowing from a fire, then a mushroom cloud following the explosion that shook and shattered buildings surrounding the area, resulting in massive destructions.

Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud told the French news agency that 300,000 people are left homeless and the damage across half of the city is estimated to cost more than US$3 billion (RM12.58 billion).

Meanwhile, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim expressed hope for the authorities in Lebanon to be able to take stern action against those who are responsible for the explosion.

“I express my deepest condolences to the loved ones of those who lost their lives, and also to the people of Lebanon,” said Anwar on Twitter.

Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari also expressed his condolences to the families of the blast victims.

Inalillah wainailaihi rajiun. My deepest sympathy over the heartbreaking tragedy in the Lebanese city of Beirut.

“May the government and the people of Lebanon persevere in facing this gruelling test. Condolences to the families of the victims,” he said on Twitter.

DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng also tweeted that he and Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu, or commonly known as Mat Sabu, had visited the capital city of Lebanon last year.

“I feel sad reading the news of yesterday’s explosion tragedy. Let us all pray for Beirut and Lebanon,” said Lim.