Lebanon – Snow Storm Set to Worsen Amid Deaths and Heavy Property Damages

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A storm that has been lashing Lebanon since the weekend dropped snow on the coast in northern areas and blocked major mountainous roads throughout the country as the worst is yet to come.

The National News Agency said Wednesday that the snow reached the coast in the northern town of Batroun. It also reached 400 meters above sea level in the northern Akkar district.

Residents of the area which has been witnessing a power failure since Tuesday rushed to buy diesel for heating.

Sahel Akkar, the town of Sheikh Zinad and the areas of al-Arida, Hekr al-Dahri and Sammaqiyeh witnessed severe flooding after al-Istwan and al-Kabir rivers burst their banks, causing severe damage to crops, the NNA said.

In southern Lebanon’s Nabatiyeh governorate, the Beaufort Castle was decorated in white as a thin layer of snow covered areas near the market town of Nabatiyeh.

Several mountainous roads were also blocked, NNA said.

In Hasbaya also in the South, the blizzard dumped two meters of snow on Mount Hermon as snow reached areas 500 meters above sea level.

Flood waters also heavily damaged agricultural land after the Hasbani river burst its banks.

Forecasters say temperatures that reached 4 degrees Celsius on the coast will continue to drop on Wednesday night when snowfall is expected as low as 200 meters above sea level.

The Meteorology Department said the storm, which has claimed four lives and paralyzed the country, will start to dissipate on Thursday morning.

Beirut and its suburbs also had a share of damages after al-Ghadir river burst its banks and caused severe flooding in the southern suburb of Hay al-Sellom.

The floods invaded homes and shops, turning the streets into ponds and wreaking havoc in the impoverished area.

NNA says around 2,000 residential units and a large number of shops are built on the river’s banks. The level of water on the streets exceeded 50 centimeters on Tuesday.

The river in Antelias, north of Beirut, also caused heavy material damage to houses near its banks.

In the Bekaa Valley and mainly in its west and in Rashaya, the storm dumped 50 centimeters of snow in towns 1,200 meters above sea level.

Several villages, including Ain Ata, Yanta and Deir al-Ashayer, were isolated while other towns such as al-Srireh suffered damages from unrelenting rain water that swamped the area.

 

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