DFA: 47 Filipinos among injured during Beirut blast

This picture taken on August 4, 2020 shows a general view of the scene of an explosion at the port of Lebanon’s capital Beirut. Two huge explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut, wounding dozens of people, shaking buildings and sending huge plumes of smoke billowing into the sky. | Inquirer.net photo (STR /AFP)

FIVE more Filipinos injured during last week’s explosion in Beirut, Lebanon have been identified by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), bringing the tally to 47.

“We are still thankful that the injuries sustained by our kababayans (countrymen) are not life-threatening. We also thank our Embassy personnel for taking prompt action,” said Undersecretary Sarah Lou Y. Arriola in a statement on Monday, August 10.

Most of the wounded Filipinos are household service workers, according to the Philippine Embassy in Beirut.

Four Filipinos were killed in the blast, while one household service worker remains missing.

The DFA also reassured that it is intensifying its operations to bring the Filipinos in Beirut back home to the Philippines.

This came after the surprise resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab and his cabinet resigned on Monday night amid the protests.

“We are not leaving anyone behind,” said Arriola.

“The DFA and its Embassy in Beirut are taking all necessary actions to guarantee the safety of our overseas Filipinos who are still in Lebanon. More steps will be implemented in the coming days to see this through,” she added.

In a statement, the agency said that the first of the DFA chartered-flights from Beirut is expected to land in Manila on August 17, carrying some 400 overseas Filipinos.

“This repatriation will be the first in a number of repatriation flights that the DFA will mount to bring home our kababayans who want to come home,” Arriola said.

The flights will be free of charge for the overseas workers.

Around 31,000 Filipinos remain in Lebanon, the DFA said.

The powerful blast that rocked the Port of Beirut on Tuesday afternoon, August 4 left at least 220 people dead and over 5,000 wounded, according to a recent tally from the BBC.

Based on reports, the explosion was triggered by 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stockpiled in a warehouse after it was confiscated from an impounded cargo ship in 2013.

Filipinos in need of assistance are urged to contact the Embassy through +961 385-9430, +961 813-34836, +961 714-74416, +961 706-81060 and +961 708-58086, or email them at [email protected].

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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