Following the deadly blast at Beirut’s port last week, Iraq is moving to secure its own main port of Umm Qasr from any potential dangers in the future.
The August 4 blast in Beirut at a warehouse storing highly-explosive material for years killed at least 171 people, injured some 6,000 and damaged swathes of the Mediterranean city.
Umm Qasr port employees on Wednesday cordoned off containers that were deemed at risk of being flammable or potentially explosive before moving the material away from the main part of the port on the Gulf.
Farhan Muheisen al-Firtosi, Director General of State Company for Iraqi Ports said, “we have taken rapid measures to evacuate the port from any dangerous material immediately. Thank God, we have carried out these quick measures and now our ports are secured from material liable to burn. These materials have been completely isolated.”.
While any Beirut-like incident at Umm Qasr, a small town near the Kuwaiti border, wouldn’t impact as many lives due to its low population, Iraq is keen to keep away any more potential public unrest from its streets following lengthy spells of political instability.
(Source: Reuters London)