The Edition


Pres Solih expresses condolences to Lebanon after explosion

Mariyam Malsa
05 August 2020, MVT 19:38
A helicopter puts out a fire at the scene of an explosion at the port of Lebanon's capital Beirut on August 4, 2020. (Photo by STR / AFP)
Mariyam Malsa
05 August 2020, MVT 19:38

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Wednesday, expressed solidarity with the citizens of Lebanon following an explosion in the city of Beirut, which resulted in 100 deaths.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and all affected by this terrible tragedy", stated the president in a tweet.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid echoed the president's statement in a message of condolence sent to the Lebanese foreign minister, Charbel Wehbe.

"The Maldives stands in solidarity with Lebanon, and the prayers and well wishes of the Maldivian people are with the people of Lebanon during this difficult time. We remain confident that Lebanon and the residents of Beirut will recover, rebuild and thrive to be stronger".

According to the Red Cross, the explosion injured 4,000, raising concerns that the death toll will increase as rescue efforts in the Lebanese capital continue.

At present, the blast appears to have been caused by a fire that ignited 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate left unsecured in a warehouse. The subsequent explosion was recorded as the equivalent of a 3.3 magnitude earthquake and was felt as far away as 240 kilometers.

Several countries have dispatched humanitarian aid to Lebanon, which was already struggling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and dealing with an economic crisis. After the Lebanese government defaulted on sovereign debt earlier in 2020, poverty levels soared to an estimated 50 percent of the population.