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Czech Republic sending Urban Search and Rescue team to Beirut following explosion

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The Czech Republic will send a special team of USAR firefighters to Beirut trained in search and rescue to help following yesterday’s devastating explosion. 

A team of 36 members of the Prague Fire Brigade will travel to Lebanon. “In addition to rescuers, the group also includes five cynologists, a structural engineer and a doctor,” said firefighter spokeswoman Nicole Studená in a press release. According to her, the expected departure is planned for today at 16:00.

Two gigantic explosions in the port of Beirut destroyed several neighborhoods on Tuesday. According to current information from the Lebanese Red Cross, the blast has claimed more than a hundred dead and more than 4,000 injured.

“This is a huge tragedy for the people of Lebanon. Sending aid is the least we can do for Lebanon,” Jan Hamáček, Ministry of the Interior, said today. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also ordered the release of ten million crowns for humanitarian aid for Lebanon and material aid.

The so-called USAR team (from the English name Urban Search and Rescue) is composed of firefighters from Prague and the Moravian-Silesian region. It is deployed in the event of a major emergency and natural disasters, such as an earthquake, landslide or tsunami. It specializes in rescue from rubble, heights and depths. The team is able to go to the rescue within about ten hours, if the affected country accepts the help, firefighters said on Twitter. In the past, he helped after natural disasters in several countries.

Hamáček told reporters at the Ministry of the Interior that members of the USAR team would descend to the agreed place and leave at around 16:00, if all the necessary documents related to their flight could be processed. “The team includes a doctor and a structural engineer. I believe that this will be a visible contribution of the Czech Republic and it will turn out that the Czech Republic is ready and willing to help in such cases,” said Hamáček.

Firefighters from the team are equipped with the latest search and rescue equipment, including breathing apparatus. In addition to climbing equipment, according to Studená, they also lack chainsaws, metal, masonry and concrete cutters, drills, jackhammers, hydraulic struts, but also high-quality devices for locating overwhelmed people – echo sounder, bio radar, slit cameras – and hydraulic tools for rescuing injured people from vehicles. . They also have specially trained and certified dogs for rubble searches.

The causes of the disaster are still unclear. Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said tons of ammonium nitrate had been exploded and stored in the port. US President Donald Trump said that, according to US military experts, the explosion’s cause was probably a bomb attack. The explosion triggered tremors of 3.5 degrees and was noticeable and audible as far as Cyprus, more than 200 kilometers from Lebanon. Most of Beirut’s port was razed to the ground, and many other buildings in the city were damaged. According to witnesses, the main streets in the center are covered with rubble.

A team of 36 members of the Prague Fire Brigade will travel to Lebanon. “In addition to rescuers, the group also includes five cynologists, a structural engineer and a doctor,” said firefighter spokeswoman Nicole Studená in a press release. According to her, the expected departure is planned for today at 16:00.

Two gigantic explosions in the port of Beirut destroyed several neighborhoods on Tuesday. According to current information from the Lebanese Red Cross, the blast has claimed more than a hundred dead and more than 4,000 injured.

“This is a huge tragedy for the people of Lebanon. Sending aid is the least we can do for Lebanon,” Jan Hamáček, Ministry of the Interior, said today. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also ordered the release of ten million crowns for humanitarian aid for Lebanon and material aid.

The so-called USAR team (from the English name Urban Search and Rescue) is composed of firefighters from Prague and the Moravian-Silesian region. It is deployed in the event of a major emergency and natural disasters, such as an earthquake, landslide or tsunami. It specializes in rescue from rubble, heights and depths. The team is able to go to the rescue within about ten hours, if the affected country accepts the help, firefighters said on Twitter. In the past, he helped after natural disasters in several countries.

Hamáček told reporters at the Ministry of the Interior that members of the USAR team would descend to the agreed place and leave at around 16:00, if all the necessary documents related to their flight could be processed. “The team includes a doctor and a structural engineer. I believe that this will be a visible contribution of the Czech Republic and it will turn out that the Czech Republic is ready and willing to help in such cases,” said Hamáček.

Firefighters from the team are equipped with the latest search and rescue equipment, including breathing apparatus. In addition to climbing equipment, according to Studená, they also lack chainsaws, metal, masonry and concrete cutters, drills, jackhammers, hydraulic struts, but also high-quality devices for locating overwhelmed people – echo sounder, bio radar, slit cameras – and hydraulic tools for rescuing injured people from vehicles. . They also have specially trained and certified dogs for rubble searches.

The causes of the disaster are still unclear. Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said tons of ammonium nitrate had been exploded and stored in the port. US President Donald Trump said that, according to US military experts, the explosion’s cause was probably a bomb attack. The explosion triggered tremors of 3.5 degrees and was noticeable and audible as far as Cyprus, more than 200 kilometers from Lebanon. Most of Beirut’s port was razed to the ground, and many other buildings in the city were damaged. According to witnesses, the main streets in the center are covered with rubble.

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