Storm Norma hits Lebanon with heavy rains, snowfall and freezing temperatures, putting housands of Syrian refugees in need of emergency assistance


A winter storm packing heavy rain and snow on Tuesday turned streets in Lebanon into rivers of water and mud and paralyzed parts of the country. Storm Norma hit Lebanon with heavy rains, snowfall and freezing temperatures and damaged several Syrian refugee camps in the country. Thousands are in need of emergency assistance.

Syrian refugee camp covered by snow in Lebanon after storm Norma wreak havoc beginning of January 2019. via Twitter

Here in Beirut:

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Civil Defense workers struggle to push a stranded car on a street in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. A strong storm and heavy rainfall turned streets in Lebanon into rivers of water and mud and paralyzed parts of the country. The government ordered schools shut with snow expected to fall across the country at altitudes of 600 meters. (Bilal Hussein/Associated Press)

Among those affected were tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, many of whom live in tent settlements.

In the eastern Bekaa Valley, many Syrian refugees stayed indoors next to diesel or wood heaters as snow covered their flimsy tents.

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Refugee camps on ice after storm Norma. via Twitter

OMG! Impressive images!

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A flooded refugee camp in Lebanon after storm Norma in January 2019. via Twitter

Some of the worst affected areas were the refugee camps in Arsal, a mountainous area in North Lebanon, leaving many in need of emergency assistance. Hundreds of refugee camps and settlements in the area from the Akkar Plain to Bekaa Valley have been devastated by the storm.

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Winter storm Norma brought heavy rain and snow on Tuesday turning streets in Lebanon into rivers of water and mud and paralyzed parts of the country. via Twitter

At least 66 camps were heavily impacted by the flooding, 15 of which have been completely flooded or collapsed. The Lebanese Red Cross has rescued more than 500 people from Akkar’s Semmaqieh refugee settlement after their tents filled with flood water.

Authorities closed the highway linking Beirut with the Syrian capital Damascus after parts of it that cut through high mountains became covered with snow.

In the coastal town of Dbayeh, just north of Beirut, part of the highway was closed after it was filled with water. Rescuers later used small boats to help people stranded in their cars.

Most schools were closed Tuesday and the Lebanese education minister called for school to be closed even on the coast for a second day Wednesday.

The storm dubbed “Norma” began Saturday and is expected to reach its peak Tuesday night.

It seems weather manipulation can be used against refugees…

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[Middle East Eye, BBC, Relief Web, TWP]





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