Heavy snow and rain from Storm Norma have hit Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon causing tents and homes to flood.
Hundreds of Syrian refugees were rescued from camps in Lebanon on Monday, as storms batters the country, causing floods, everywhere
The Red Cross transferred 100 families from the Semmaqieh refugee camp in Akkar to other settlements, as floodwater filled tents, according to Lebanese media reports
Camps in Arsal have been blanketed with snow, while in the Bekaa Valley tents were engulfed in water with NGOs and charities appealing for aid to help families without shelter and warm clothing.
At least 1.5 million Syrians fled to Lebanon following Bashar al-Assad’s bombardment of opposition areas starting in 2011, with war in the country costing the lives of over 500,000 people.
Lebanon’s government has complained that it does not have the resources to host the refugees and has appealed to the international community to assist with funding.
Moves have also been made to facilitate the return of Syrian refugees back to their homes, although the dangerous situation in Syria has led most to stay put in Lebanese camps, despite the terrible conditions there.
Storm Norma also forced schools to close or to be converted into shelters for those made homeless by flooding.
The storm has whipped up winds of 100km an hour and waves five metres high, with heavy rain and snowfall in mountainous areas.
Lebanon’s government is also arranging for shelter for other residents and citizens affected by the bad weather with fears of landslides.
Residents in Beirut have been warned by civil rescue teams to avoid beaches and waterfronts.
The 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.
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.
On Monday, a woman gave birth in an ambulance as it took a long time to reach a hospital because of snow. The woman and the baby later arrived at the nearby hospital and both are in good health, according to state-run National News Agency.
The storm is expected to continue until Thursday.
Here are are some videos of the situation Beirut and throughout Lebanon
And more suffering for Syrian refugess
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