New rains, new flooded roads in Lebanon.
Several streets were flooded by torrents of muddy water on Tuesday in Jounieh and Kfar Hbab, in Kesrouan, and in Jbeil. Floods have become recurrent in recent weeks since the beginning of the rainy season, while the state and municipalities still seem unable to maintain public roads.
فيديو آخر من السيول التي اجتاحت طريق كفرحباب غزير وشاهدوا كيف سعى مواطنون للنجاة بأنفسهم. pic.twitter.com/lyxNap73tc— Bassam Abou Zeid (@BassamAbouZeid) November 29, 2022
On Twitter, the Traffic Monitoring Center (TMC) announced that rainwater had accumulated on the eastern and western lanes of the Jounieh highway, as well as on the seaway, causing heavy traffic jams.
Pictures sent to L'Orient-Le Jour by the municipality of Jounieh show the streets of the Old Souk of the city flooded.
A similar same scene occurred in the town of Kfar Hbab, where strong torrents fell on the road, trapping several vehicles, according to images sent to our correspondent. Some motorists got out of their vehicles in extremis, several cars having been swept away by the torrents.
The Civil Defense intervened in Jounieh and Kfar Hbab to rescue the stranded motorists.
Heavy rain also flooded streets in Jbeil's Old Souk, according to the National News Agency.
Just three days ago, similar floods occurred in the south of the country.
The minister's reaction
Caretaker Minister of Public Works and Transport, Ali Hamiyeh, posted a video on Twitter in which he claimed the floods were caused by encroachments on natural water streams in the Sahel Alma-Chnaanir region. He held the local municipalities and the Ministry of Energy and Water responsible for this, saying they did not do their job to control these waterways.
فيديو من منطقة ساحل علما - شننعير يُظهر بوضوح مكان تدفق المياه وخروجها عن مجراها الى الطرقات في البلدات لتتشكل عبرها سيول،جارفة معها الاتربة الى الاوتوستراد، وهذا بسبب التعديات على مجاري المياه الشتوية والعبارات وعدم مراقبتها من قبل الجهات المختصة ( بلديات- وزارة الطاقة). pic.twitter.com/Q2zEbeHtlv— Ali Hamie | علي حمية (@alihamie_lb) November 29, 2022
"The main cause of the floods observed today in Jounieh, especially on the side of Haret Sakher and Kfar Hbab is due to an unusual amount of rainfall over a very short period of time," Juan Hobeiche, president of the Jounieh municipal council and president of the Federation of Municipalities of Kesrouan, told L'Orient-Le Jour.
"Climate change and the change in the rainfall pattern that makes such phenomena recurrent," he added.
Hobeiche also pointed a finger at inadequate infrastructure. "Where there were only a few houses, there are now thirty to forty buildings, while the piping infrastructure has remained the same," he said.
Tuesday's floods caused damage to the steep Kesrouan landscape. Throughout the city, including the old coastal souk, water flooded the roads and entered homes and stores.
When asked about measures to prevent such disasters from happening again, Hobeiche emphasized the need to renovate the infrastructure as a radical action to cope with the observed climate change.
Another cause of the problem is garbage thrown onto the road by motorists, which blocks the channels of drainage of rainwater. "The lack of civic-mindedness is an important factor in the aggravation of such phenomena," Hobeiche lamented.
With public infrastructure weakened by an economic crisis that began in 2019, Lebanon finds itself, once again, unprepared for winter storms. Intense rains often flood large swaths of coastal areas, trapping many motorists.
On Oct. 24, heavy rains severely flooded large parts of Lebanon's coastal areas, resulting in the death of an elderly disabled man.
Additional reporting contributed by Michel Hallak.
New rains, new flooded roads in Lebanon. Several streets were flooded by torrents of muddy water on Tuesday in Jounieh and Kfar Hbab, in Kesrouan, and in Jbeil. Floods have become recurrent in recent weeks since the beginning of the rainy season, while the state and municipalities still seem unable to maintain public roads.فيديو آخر من السيول التي اجتاحت طريق...