One of the largest evacuations since the Second World War is underway in the Middle East. Helicopters, warships and ferries are packed with people desperate to escape the violence.
Governments around the world moved quickly to help terrified citizens. With Beirut
's airport in tatters, many foreigners have taken the land route to Syria
to escape Israeli bombs, missiles and artillery fire. Others wait to be brought out by ship or helicopter to Cyprus
, the United States
sent warships and chartered ferries to the Cypriot port of Larnaca
, to take their citizens home. Chinese, Australian, Italian, Indian and Swedish citizens have also been moved to safety.
Around 5,000 Britons, 10,000 Americans and thousands of Canadians have opted for evacuation, and will leave in the next few days. Hundreds are back home thanks to help from the Russian government, though many remain in Lebanon
awaiting assistance. Russia
’s embassy in Lebanon
is also helping citizens from former Soviet republics. Belarus
has no embassy in Beirut
, and the Moldovan embassy wants money from its citizens before helping them leave.
The embassy in Lebanon
is working round the clock to organise more buses from Beirut
to the airport of Latakia
. Twenty buses evacuated Russian citizens on Wednesday. Children, pregnant women and people from the south of Lebanon
were first to be taken out. The process is expected to continue for several days.