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EU activates Civil Protection Mechanism to help Lebanon

BRUSSELS, Aug 5 (KUNA) -- As an immediate first step, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated upon request of the Lebanese authorities, EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarc announced in a statement Wednesday.
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism is now coordinating the urgent deployment of over a 100 highly trained firefighters, with vehicles, dogs and equipment, specialised in search and rescue in urban contexts. They will work with the Lebanese authorities to save lives on the ground, he said.
Already, the Netherlands, Greece and Czech Republic have confirmed their participation in this critical operation. France, Poland and Germany have also offered assistance via the Mechanism and more EU Member States can offer support, he noted.
The EU has also activated its Copernicus Satellite mapping system to support the Lebanese authorities in assessing the extent of the damage. "We share the shock and sadness of the people of Beirut following the deadly explosion that has taken many lives and left many more injured. Our condolences go to all those that have lost loved ones," he said.
"We stand with Lebanon and its people and are ready to mobilise further help" stressed the EU official. (end) nk.rk