Thousands Stranded as Rainwater Cuts Off Airport Road in Both Directionsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Heavy rains rendered the airport road south of Beirut completely impassable on Wednesday, trapping thousands of people in their cars.
LBCI television broadcast footage of vehicles submerged in water inside a tunnel in the area and citizens were leaving the location on foot.
Floodwater was around 1.5 meters high inside another tunnel, cutting off the road on both lanes, according to the TV network.
Citizens carried out amateurish and primitive attempts to open the overloaded drainage canals ahead of the arrival of Civil Defense crews and vehicles to the area.
“The ministries concerned must do their job and Civil Defense cannot do miracles,” Civil Defense chief Brig. Gen. George Khattar told LBCI.
“The responsibility of what's happening today falls on the relevant ministries and municipalities because they did not clean drainage canals ahead of winter,” he added.
Khattar stressed that Civil Defense crews were present on the ground, noting that the cut-off roads prevented Civil Defense vehicles from arriving quickly to the flooded tunnel.
LBCI said caretaker Public Works and Transportation Minister Ghazi Aridi was not answering his phone despite several attempts to contact him for an interview.
Meanwhile, acting Internal Security Forces chief Brig. Gen. Ibrahim Basbous ordered all ISF units to deploy on the streets to help citizens stranded by rainwater and facilitate traffic.
Elsewhere, the coastal highway from Saifi to Karantia, Dora, Nahr el-Mot, Zalka, Jal el-Dib and Dbaye witnessed a severe traffic jam due to the heavy rains that fell in the afternoon.
Some streets turned into ponds and citizens urged authorities to rescue them from their vehicles that were trapped in water, the National News Agency said.