The blast centred on the city's port caused massive destruction and killed at least 135 people, heaping misery on a country in crisis.

A view shows damages at the site of Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area, Lebanon August 5, 2020.
A view shows damages at the site of Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area, Lebanon August 5, 2020. (Reuters)

Countries have dispatched emergency medical aid, field hospitals, rescue experts and tracking dogs to Lebanon as the world reacts swiftly to a vast Beirut explosion in a nation already close to economic collapse.

The blast centred on the city's port caused massive destruction and killed at least 135 people, heaping misery on a country in crisis.

Lebanon's Prime Minister Hassan Diab has called on "friendly countries" to support a nation reeling from its worst economic crisis in decades, as well as a coronavirus outbreak that has infected over 5,000 people and killed 68.

Gulf states were among the first to respond, with Qatar sending mobile hospitals to ease pressure on Lebanon's medical system, strained by the coronavirus pandemic.

Here's a list of just some of the many countries sending aid and personnel to help Beirut:

  • Qatar - Mobile hospitals, hundreds of collapsible beds, generators and burn sheets.
  • Turkey - Search-and-rescue teams, emergency medical personnel, a field hospital, humanitarian aid, medical equipment and medicine.
  • Russia - Five planeloads of aid with rescuers, medical workers, a makeshift hospital and a lab for coronavirus testing.
  • Kuwait - Plane load of medical supplies.
  • Iraq - Six trucks of urgent medical supplies and an emergency medical team.
  • Greece - A dozen rescue personnel.
  • Algeria - Four planes and a ship with humanitarian aid, medical teams, firefighters, supplies and construction materials.
  • France - Search-and-rescue experts aboard three military planes loaded with a mobile clinic and tonnes of medical and sanitary supplies.
  • Czech Republic - A team of 37 rescuers with sniffer dogs.
  • Poland - 50 firefighters, 39 rescuers with 4 dogs and a chemical rescue module.
  • Germany - Dozens of search-and-rescue specialists, search dogs and 15 tonnes of equipment.
  • Australia - To donate $1.4 million in humanitarian support.
  • Britain - A $6.6 million humanitarian package.
  • Tunisia - Medical teams and the country is ready to transport patients for treatment in Tunisia.
  • Cyprus - Emergency personnel and sniffer dogs.
  • Italy - 14 firefighters specialised in assessing chemical risks and damaged structures to provide technical support.

READ MORE: How Beirut’s port became home to a floating bomb

A man stands near the site of Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area, Lebanon August 6, 2020.
A man stands near the site of Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area, Lebanon August 6, 2020. (Reuters)

More global support

The European Union was activating its civil protection system to round up emergency workers and equipment from across the 27-nation bloc. 

The EU commission said the plan was to urgently dispatch over 100 firefighters with vehicles, sniffer dogs and equipment designed to find people trapped in urban areas.

The EU’s satellite mapping system will be used to help Lebanese authorities establish the extent of damage.

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, itself battling the Middle East's deadliest coronavirus outbreak, said Tehran stood "ready to offer medical and medicinal aid and help treat the injured".

'Stay strong, Lebanon'

The World Health Organization said it was sending trauma and surgical kits from its Dubai base after the "shocking event" that comes at a "particularly difficult time in Lebanon".

"Many hospitals are overwhelmed with casualties and people are still looking for the injured and the dead, so it's a very sad day," said the UN agency's emergencies director Michael Ryan.

In a statement, the World Bank Group said it "stands ready to deploy its expertise to undertake a rapid damage and needs assessment and to develop a reconstruction plan as per international standards."

Unusually, neighbouring Israel offered humanitarian aid, to a country with which it is still technically at war, via international intermediaries.

In the coastal city of Tel Aviv, Lebanon's flag was projected onto the city hall on Wednesday evening.

US President Donald Trump, who said the explosions looked like "a terrible attack", without giving any evidence, said: "Our prayers go out to all the victims and their families ... the United States stands ready to assist Lebanon."

UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said it was too early to say if the UN will issue an international appeal to help rebuild Beirut.

“It would seem given the amount of damage that there will be a need for additional international support for Lebanon,” he said, adding that the UN is heartened to see support from many governments and hopes all countries will stand beside the Lebanese people at this time.

READ MORE: Lebanon's Aoun promises transparent probe into powerful Beirut blast

People walk past damaged buildings and vehicles following Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area, Lebanon August 5, 2020.
People walk past damaged buildings and vehicles following Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area, Lebanon August 5, 2020. (Reuters)
Source: AFP