Naharnet

One Dead as Storm Wreaks Havoc in Lebanon

The much anticipated storm that lashed Lebanon on Saturday caused considerable damage to public property and one casualty as a result of strong winds and heavy rain.

In the northern city of Tripoli, a woman was killed when an uprooted palm tree landed on her car.

The meteorological department of the Civil Aviation Authority said there was heavy snowfall at an altitude of 1,400 meters. Even heavier snowfall is expected Sunday night, at an altitude of 1,200 meters.

Temperatures ranged Saturday between 10 degrees Celsius and 21 degrees in coastal areas, between 5 degrees and 15 degrees in the mountains and between 5 and 17 degrees in the Bekaa.

The storm is expected to last until Monday, ending weeks of unseasonable warm and dry weather and bringing the first snowfall of winter.

As to material damage, a transmission pole fell in Beirut's neighborhood of Karakol Druze, damaging four vehicles.

Three training planes were also damaged at Beirut airport because of the storm. The small planes were parked at the airport when they were pushed by strong winds. No one was hurt in the incident.

Several advertising billboards, including one at the airport, were severely damaged. Some even fell on parked vehicles.

Furthermore, aviation was affected at Rafik Hariri international airport with several flights delayed due to strong winds that reached up to 100 kilometers per hour.

The telecommunications system also suffered.

Some streets in the capital or its suburbs were filled with rainwater causing bumper-to-bumper traffic and stranding drivers in their vehicles.

Waves along the Lebanese coast reached five meters in height, an Agence France Presse photographer said, crashing over traffic that had come to a standstill in knee-high water on the seaside road in Beirut.

And in the traditional seaside town of Jbeil, north of Beirut, fishermen were struggling to keep their boats tied down as cafe and restaurant staff strove to salvage chairs and tables from flooded terraces.


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