MANILA – The number of Filipinos killed in the twin explosions in Lebanon’s capital Beirut on August 4 has risen to four, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed on Friday.
“We are saddened by the latest turn of developments. The higher figure comes as our embassy personnel work to ascertain the condition of the Filipinos in its jurisdiction,“ Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said in a statement.
Of the injured Filipinos, two remain in critical condition at the Rizk Hospital.
“Our embassy officials shall continue to ascertain the condition of our community in Beirut. The DFA reaffirms its commitment to bring the much-needed support and assistance to our kababayans, (e)specially at this hour of need,” Arriola said.
An estimated 33,000 Filipinos are residing in Lebanon, 75 percent of whom are in the Greater Beirut area, according to the department.
Footages showed an initial explosion, followed by a colossal blast that sent a mushroom cloud billowing into the sky and shock waves barreling across the city, killing more than 100 people and injuring thousands.
Seismologists measured the event, which flattened most of the nearby buildings at the Port of Beirut and blew out windows of establishments kilometers away, as equivalent to a 3.3-magnitude earthquake.
A warehouse storing about 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate is seen to have sparked the disaster, described by the local media as the “Beirutshima”, referring to the Aug. 6, 1945 atomic blast in Hiroshima, Japan during World War II. Joyce Ann L. Rocamora /PNA – northboundasia.com