Turkey has been extending a helping hand to Lebanon following a deadly explosion at the Port of Beirut, which left at least 135 people dead and nearly 5,000 injured.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter on Wednesday that he spoke over the phone with his Lebanese counterpart Hamad Hassan, and said that Turkey will send medical and humanitarian aid to Lebanon under the coordination of country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).
Koca also underlined that a Turkish team of 20 physicians will travel to Lebanon today for the treatment of the injured.
Separately, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said on Twitter that Turkey “took action to heal the wounds of Lebanon” upon the instructions of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“Turkey has extended a helping hand to Lebanon, which lost most of the wheat storages in the explosion in Beirut. TIKA [Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency] will deliver about 400 tons of wheat to the Lebanese authorities,” Ersoy said.
TIKA officials are expected to deliver wheat to Lebanese officials in a few days.
Earlier, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a written statement that Erdogan had ordered to dispatch a search and rescue team and emergency medical personnel to the region through Turkey’s health and disaster management bodies, as well as the Turkish Red Crescent.
Plans were also in motion for the construction of a field hospital, as well as the provision of humanitarian aid including drugs and medical supplies, he added.
Beirut and its surrounding suburbs were rocked on Tuesday by a massive explosion caused by a fire at a warehouse containing explosives at the Port of Beirut.
Photos and footage on social media showed downtown Beirut littered with damaged vehicles and debris that fell from the shattered facades of buildings.
More than 300,000 people have been left homeless with the damage estimated to cost over $3 billion.
Lebanon’s president has promised a transparent investigation and declared three days of mourning.
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