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WEATHER

Winter storm disrupts livelihoods, causes damage across the country

Winter storm disrupts livelihoods, causes damage across the country

Flooding caused by winter storm. (Credit: Michel Hallak/L'Orient Today)

BEIRUT — Already weakened by two years of crisis, Lebanon finds itself ill-prepared for the current winter storm, which is resulting in major damage around the country.

Here’s what we know:

    • Electricité de Zahle is facing “unprecedented” damage to its electrical grid, the utility announced, most notably caused by the severing of transmission lines from Electricité du Liban as the ice and snow bring down trees and other objects. The utility has pleaded with municipalities, ministries and security forces to open blocked roads so that technicians can repair the grid, warning of a potential “major humanitarian disaster” if it is unable to restore power to those customers currently without it. The South Lebanon Water Establishment similarly reported yesterday interruptions of electrical service “in all departments from Sidon to Naqoura through Zahrani, Nabatieh, Sur, Bint Jbeil and Jezzine,” our correspondent in the area reported. Connections to villages near the Litani plant also ceased yesterday as the transmission lines there malfunctioned.

    • All secondary roads and the primary road in the Rashaya and Baalbeck District were closed this morning, our correspondent in the area reported. Similarly, all roads above 500 meters altitude in Akkar were reported closed by our correspondent in the area.

    • In low-altitude coastal areas heavy rains have swelled rivers and flooded fields, damaging agricultural greenhouses and destroying crops.

    • Because of rough seas, fishermen in the north stayed in the harbor for the 10th day in a row, fearing damage to their boats. It is a pause in work many can ill afford.

    • A support wall for two buildings collapsed in Ghazieh, causing a number of families to evacuate amid the storm, our correspondent in the area reported. Some of the evacuees are infected with COVID-19, the NNA reported.

    • The Civil Defense stated that it has conducted rescue operations to free civilians trapped on the roads in Jbeil, Bzebdine, Rayfoun, Hrajel, Mayrouba, Feytroun and Baalbeck.

   • In the capital, social media posts appeared to show serious flooding on some roads.

   • The Ministry of Public Works and Transport has called on citizens and residents not to move around in mountain areas except in cases of extreme necessity, in order not to obstruct road clearing work that is taking place around the clock. Municipalities have been called on to coordinate their efforts to ensure public safety.


BEIRUT — Already weakened by two years of crisis, Lebanon finds itself ill-prepared for the current winter storm, which is resulting in major damage around the country.Here’s what we know:     • Electricité de Zahle is facing “unprecedented” damage to its electrical grid, the utility announced, most notably caused by the severing of transmission lines from Electricité du...