Snowstorm hits Lebanon, worsening conditions of Syrian refugees

BEIRUT -- A snowstorm engulfed Lebanon on the first day of the new year, cutting off mountain roads, isolating villages and worsening living conditions for tens of thousands of Syrian refugees.

See Full Article

Many refugees, living in tents and huts in the eastern Bekaa Valley, only came briefly out of their shelters on Friday to clear the snow so their dwellings would not collapse.

Elsewhere, Syrian children were seen tossing snowballs at one another and playing in the snow. A child ran around in flip-flops, unfazed by the cold.

In the eastern town of Al-Marj near the Syrian border, the refugees said their biggest worry was the water, from rain or snow, leaking into the tents.

"We don't know when the tent will collapse on us," said a Syrian woman, who identified herself as Um Abdou. "When it's windy, we cannot sleep because we are scared that the tent will be blown away."

The storm, dubbed Vladimir, started on Thursday afternoon and by Friday morning many mountains roads were closed, including the highway linking Beirut with the Syrian capital of Damascus.

"Life is difficult inside the tent when it's raining and cold," said Jubair, another Syrian refugee who only gave his first name, fearing for his safety.

Police called on people to avoid mountain roads, citing the closures and bad visibility.

State-run National News Agency said dozens of cars were stuck on the road leading to the mountain resort of Ehden, adding that people were calling on the army to help them.

Lebanon hosts more than 1.1 million Syrian refugees -- equivalent to a quarter of the country's entire population.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Police seek public's help in locating Ontario woman last seen in 1996

    Canada News CTV News
    BECKWITH TOWNSHIP, Ont. -- Provincial police are requesting the public's assistance in locating a woman who was reported missing more than five years ago. They say Carole Dianne Roy was reported missing on May 23, 2012, but investigators say the last confirmed sighting of Roy was on Oct. Source
  • R.I. lawmaker says she was told sexual favours would help career

    World News CTV News
    PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A Rhode Island lawmaker says a higher-ranking legislator told her sexual favours would allow her bills to go further. Democratic Rep. Teresa Tanzi told the Providence Journal that she's among the many women who have experienced sexual assault or harassment. Source
  • Judge in Hawaii blocks latest version of Trump's travel ban

    World News CTV News
    HONOLULU -- A federal judge in Hawaii blocked the Trump administration Tuesday from enforcing its latest travel ban, just hours before it was set to take effect. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson granted Hawaii's request to temporarily block the policy that was to be implemented starting early Wednesday. Source
  • British spy chief says 'intense U.K. terrorist threat' is evolving rapidly

    World News CBC News
    Britain's domestic intelligence chief warned during a rare public speech Tuesday that the terrorist threat the country faces has accelerated at an alarming pace and is worse now than at any time in his 34-year career. Source
  • 'Absolute genuine kindness': RCMP officer replaces girls' tricycles after theft

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    BLACKS HARBOUR, N.B. — A New Brunswick Mountie is being praised for an act of kindness towards two young girls heartbroken by the theft of their tricycles. The Curtis family of Blacks Harbour, a small seaside village west of Saint John, noticed their daughters’ two tricycles missing from their driveway last week. Source
  • Dow Jones hits 23,000 mark for the first time

    World News CBC News
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average breached the 23,000-mark for the first time on Tuesday, powered by strong earnings from UnitedHealth Group and Johnson & Johnson. The blue-chip index has surpassed four similar 1,000-point milestones this year, indicating investor faith in the bull-run despite lofty stock valuations. Source
  • ISIS vows Russia World Cup slaughter

    World News Toronto Sun
    From the rubble of its crumbling caliphate, Islamic State is vowing to unleash bloodshed at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. ISIS has swamped social media with photos of the front of the Volgograd Arena in southern Russia, where some of the action will take place. Source
  • Finance Minister Bill Morneau faces calls for ethics investigation over assets [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he’d be willing to make changes to his financial affairs if asked to do so by the federal ethics watchdog as pressure mounts over why he hasn’t put his substantial assets in a blind trust. Source
  • Residential school survivors can proactively preserve documents: Bennett

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett says there is a proactive effort underway to tell residential school survivors that their records can still be preserved if they so choose. The move comes after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled earlier this month that records detailing the abuse of former students can eventually be destroyed. Source
  • Google sister company makes 'bold bet' with new tech-focused neighbourhood 'Sidewalk Toronto'

    Canada News CBC News
    Waterfront Toronto has announced that Sidewalk Labs, Google's city-building sister company, will be its partner in creating a new tech-focused neighbourhood on the eastern Toronto waterfront. Reports began circulating last spring that Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet Inc. Source