Indonesian Embassy office in Beirut. (Photo Wikimedia)
Indonesian Injured in Beirut Explosion
AUGUST 05, 2020
Jakarta. An Indonesian citizen was slightly injured in a fatal blast at the port of Beirut in Lebanon on Tuesday, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
Multiple explosions hit central Beirut at around 6.02 pm local time. The scene of the explosion was approximately seven kilometers away from the Indonesian Embassy in Beirut.
"One wounded Indonesian citizen has already been in contact with the embassy. She is currently in a stable condition and is able to communicate well," the ministry said, as quoted by Jakarta Globe's sister publication Beritasatu.
The victim has returned to her apartment in Jal El Dib after receiving the medical treatment.
Indonesia’s Ambassador to Beirut Hajriyanto Tohari confirmed that all Indonesian citizens are safe.
There are 1,477 Indonesians residing in Beirut in which 1,234 people were Garuda Contingent or the Indonesian Military peacekeepers whereas 213 others were civilians including embassy employees' family members and students.
“One Indonesian who is currently under quarantine quarantine at Rafiq Hariri Hospital, not far from the scene, is also safe,” Hajriyanto said.
The embassy has also coordinated with local authorities in case there is any info on Indonesian nationals affected by the incident.
All Indonesians must also wear masks when stepping outside because the exploded material was a chemical which can potentially pose health risks, the embassy was quoted as a saying by online media CNN Indonesia.
Carrying forms of identification such as passports and residence permit at all times is a must. Indonesian citizens are also urged to remain alert yet calm while following the incident's updates on the media.
Indonesians in need of information or help from the embassy can contact the +961 3199 493 hotline.
In a separate interview with BBC Indonesia, Hajriyanto said that the incident has inflicted an economic impact in which food supply may be disrupted for the next few days. An estimated 70 percent of the country's imports including food has to traverse the blast site.
Hajriyanto assured that the embassy will offer assistance for those having trouble accessing food supply.
Ammonium Nitrate Found
Officials have found a large stockpile of ammonium nitrate - a highly explosive material often used for fertilizers - at the port warehouse. The chemical compound is suspected to be the cause of the disaster.
On his Twitter account, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said that it was unacceptable that the 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate were stored without safety measures at the warehouse for six years. Aoun also warned that those responsible for the disaster will suffer the “worst punishments”.
The president has also declared a two-week state emergency following the disaster.
In a televised speech, Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said that the chemical compound had been stored in the warehouse since 2014. Further details on the incident will soon be revealed.
"I promise you that the disaster will not pass without accountability. Those responsible will pay the price," Diab said in his speech, as quoted by Beritasatu.
Meanwhile, the explosion has wreaked havoc on the capital with countless buildings shattered. At least 78 people died and 4,000 people were injured in the blast.