BEIRUT — A landfill just south of Saida caught fire Monday amid rising temperatures and strong winds, hurling smoke and foul odors into the city sky and prompting some nearby schools to close, L’Orient Today’s correspondent in the south reported.
According to our correspondent, the Civil Defense and local fire brigade are working to put out the fire.
Dr. Moeen Abu Daher, the head of Labib Medical Center in Saida, confirmed to L'Orient Today that three victims were transferred to the center for treatment after inhaling "the smoke and foul odor that is spreading across the city."
"It's even worse for patients who have respiratory diseases such as asthma," Dr. Daher explained
The three patients were treated and later discharged.
Fires often break out in Saida’s landfill, prompting criticism from residents. The collection and treatment of garbage there has never been successfully regulated, despite numerous attempts.
Saida environmental activist Rabih Al-Awji told L'Orient Today Monday's fire was "cause for concern and raises suspicion, especially the fires that are constantly recurring without [us] knowing the cause and without factory management issuing any explanatory statement."
Monday's windy conditions and summer temperatures meant heightened fire risk across some areas of the country, including the Bekaa Valley, according to Dr. George Mitri, director of the Land and Natural Resources Program at the University of Balamand. The program analyzes forest fires across Lebanon and runs an online platform tracking wildfire risks based on weather data.
Reporting contributed by Muntasser Abdallah