MANILA, Aug 10 (Mabuhay) — The number of Filipinos injured in last week’s deadly blasts in Beirut, Lebanon has increased to 47, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Monday.
An embassy report said there were five more Filipino casualties in the explosion that killed at least 154 people, including 4 Filipinos, and injured 5,000. The blasts were triggered by ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse for years.
A chartered plane on August 16 will bring back around 400 Filipinos who sought repatriation assistance from the embassy in Beirut. The same flight will also carry the remains of the Filipino fatalities, the DFA said.
“The repatriation of our kababayans from Lebanon is free,” DFA Undersecretary Sarah Arriola said.
The DFA said it expects the number of affected Filipinos in Beirut to rise due to the magnitude of the destruction.
Lebanon is home to around 33,000 Filipinos, 75% of whom are in the greater Beirut area.
“We are still thankful that the injuries sustained by our kababayans are not life-threatening. We also thank our embassy personnel for taking prompt action,” Arriola said.
Embassy officials said they continue to monitor the situation and assured affected members of the Filipino community in Beirut of assistance. (MNS)