Further to our previous Circulars (17th and 18th March, 9th April, and 12th May 2020), please find a further update on COVID-19 in each country EMCO Group has a presence.
Following the destruction caused by the explosion in the port of Beirut on 4th August 2020, the container terminal (which remarkably remained largely unaffected by the blast) has resumed its operations with a number of containerships having already berthed at the said terminal, discharged their cargo and sailed therefrom. More vessels are expected to call at the container terminal in Beirut in the upcoming weeks. Efforts are being made by the port authorities to receive cargo ships and bulk carriers by cleaning the remaining three undamaged quays. However, given the substantial damage sustained by the port facilities, the cargo will need to be offloaded onto trucks using the vessels’ own gear or the shore cranes that have survived the blast and arrangements must be made for its storage since the storage area at the port has been fully demolished, whereas the Customs Authorities have opened offices in warehouse No. 14 (which was partially damaged by the explosion) and are hoping to be fully operational again within the forthcoming days. The port of Beirut remains under the control of the army.
Further to our Alert on the 5th August regarding the explosion that took place at the port of Beirut last week, the port has been placed under the control of the Lebanese Army with no civilians allowed in.
As you may already have heard from the international media, a massive explosion took place yesterday afternoon in the Port of Beirut. While the cause of the blast was not immediately clear, the explosion is at present being apparently attributed to an incident related to welding being carried out at the entrance to a warehouse containing a cargo of ammonium nitrate stored in the said warehouse for a number of years. The blast had a disastrous effect on the Lebanese capital, with nearly all buildings in a 5 km radius being damaged or destroyed while almost totally flattening the port. As at the present time, at least 100 people are known to have died and over 4,000 people injured. Officials said they expect the death toll to rise further as emergency workers resume their work to rescue people and help the wounded.