Merkel promises Germany's help after catastrophic explosions in Beirut
Following the devastating explosions in the Port of Beirut, Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday promised Germany's help to Lebanon, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
"With great dismay, I learned of the severe explosion in Beirut, which has claimed many victims," Merkel wrote on Wednesday in a letter of condolence to Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab.
"In this difficult time, you can count on the help and support of the German government," said Merkel.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was also "moved by the shocking pictures from Beirut." Employees of the German embassy were among the many injured.
"My thoughts are with the relatives of the victims," Maas wrote on Twitter. "Germany stands by Lebanon in this difficult hour."
Maas told the German newspaper Bild that he had been in contact with his Lebanese counterpart to discuss how Germany could offer quick help. A rescue team from the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief would aim to leave for Beirut on Wednesday.
"Together with the German Armed Forces and our humanitarian workers, we are looking at how we can provide further help for clearing up and supplying the civilian population," said Maas.
Two huge explosions hit the Port of Beirut on Tuesday, shaking buildings all over the city. Health Minister Hamad Hassan announced on Wednesday that the explosions have left 135 people dead and 5,000 others injured.
The causes of the blasts remain unknown, but local officials said highly explosive material stored at the port might have led to the explosions.