Queen Elizabeth II Sends Message of Comfort to the Lebanese People
Queen Elizabeth II sent a message of comfort to the Lebanese citizens affected by the August 4 explosion in Beirut. The aftermath of the incident caused more than 100 deaths and injured thousands.
On August 4, the ruling monarch took to Twitter to express how she and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, were saddened by the tragedy. As of this writing, at least 1,000 Twitter users reacted and commented on the post, which reads:
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who have been injured or lost their lives."
As reported by Tatler, the whole city of Beirut was shaken at 6 in the evening. A witness reportedly said that he saw the fire at the seaport tbut he did not expect the blast that followed, causing his temporary loss of hearing.
The explosion was reportedly due to the 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored in an unsafe warehouse. The chemical in question was used as a fertilizer in agriculture and as an ingredient for explosive items.
As Lebanese officials continue deal with the latest crisis, many leaders across the globe have offered support to the country.
Aside from the temporary loss of hearing, more than 300,000 were displaced after the blast. With hundreds of people still reported missing, it is feared that the number of fatalities will increase.
Since the chilling disaster happened during the coronavirus pandemic, the COVID-19 infections is also feared to increase in the next couple of days. Health Minister Hamad Hasaan said these cases will climb due to the interaction of wounded patients and doctors with no protective gear.
At least four Lebanese hospitals were damaged from the blast. Other hospitals, already handling COVID-19 cases, were overwhelmed by the surge of patients injured by the explosion.
As Lebanese officials continue to deal with the latest crisis, many leaders across the globe have offered support to the country. French President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter that they are sending resources to the site.
Lebanon soon received two military planes, 55 personnel, 15 tons of equipment, and a mobile clinic for 500 wounded people from France. Macron, who personally met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun a few days after the explosion, also stressed the need to fight against corruption in Lebanon’s energy sector and public contracts.
Country officials blamed the explosion on the poorly-stored ammonium nitrate. A wave of public anger, meanwhile, was felt in Lebanon as the blast was linked to government negligence.
Her Majesty The Queen has sent a message of condolence to the President of the Republic of Lebanon. pic.twitter.com/vgHcT5gwuS— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) August 5, 2020
In addition to foreign assistance, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also said that they are ready to “assist in any way” and urged Lebanon to “stay strong.” Although they have no diplomatic relations, the country of Israel has also offered humanitarian aid to Lebanon through foreign channels.
Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar also pledged to support and send additional assistance to the blast-stricken country. Malaysia, the US, and the UK expressed commitment to help the country as well.
Germany also promised additional aid to Lebanon. Chancellor Angela Merkel, through a representative, said they were shocked by the tragedy.
Aside from world leaders, many Hollywood celebrities have also done their part in providing relief to people affected by the COVID-19 crisis. In April, George Clooney and his wife, Amal Clooney donated over $1 million to fight against COVID-19.
Their monetary aid was sent to six organizations that target different needs during the health crisis. Aside from the Clooneys, singer P!nk also donated $1 million worth of donations in Philadelphia and in Los Angeles.