The Finnish Red Cross (SPR) has not yet received a request for assistance from Lebanon, Tiina Saarikoski, head of international disaster relief, told STT on Wednesday. In similar accident situations, the SPR will send assistance at the request of the country in need.

- At the moment, the request has not yet come, but the situation is being closely monitored, Saarikoski said.

The explosions on Tuesday wreaked havoc in Beirut.

Photo: Marwan Tahtah / Zumapress

The SPR is awaiting an assessment of the need for assistance from the Lebanese capital, Beirut, and will make decisions based on local requests. According to Saarikoski, a possible request for assistance will come in the coming days.

- If a request for assistance comes, then of course we will consider sending assistance.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is currently providing financial support to the Lebanese Red Cross.

A corona pandemic is stretching resources

According to Kaisa Rouvinen, SPR's representative for the Middle East, there are hospitals and qualified staff in Lebanon. However, the scale of the damage caused by the explosion is such that hospital beds, for example, are not enough.

- It is also clear that the treatment of the corona epidemic has already stretched resources quite far, Rouvinen said.

According to him, the Lebanese Red Cross has already done a good job in emergency treatment of the accident. Among other things, the organization moved all its ambulances from the rest of the country to Beirut to handle ambulance services.

Rouvinen estimates that there is a great need in Beirut for, among other things, temporary accommodation after the apartments are destroyed.

- Despite everything, I believe that there is a drive to help each other and each other to help each other. Politics is always politics, but people work together terribly well and society is not as decentralized as it might seem from the outside, Rouvinen estimates.