'People are Screaming, Their Homes are Burning!" Heartbreaking Videos Show Fire in Lebanon

Published October 15th, 2019 - 09:04 GMT
Massive Fires Rage in Lebanon's Chouf Village
Massive Fires Rage in Lebanon's Chouf Village

Homes were destroyed by huge fires that have ripped through the Shouf mountains in Lebanon. 

A special needs center run by non-profit organization arcenciel was also affected by the blaze. The fires, which have been spreading for the past two days, don’t seem to be containable so far. 

More than 100 firefighters from 20 civil defense stations were helplessly trying to extinguish the massive fire. Head of the civil defense reported difficulties in putting out the fire due to landmines in the area dating back to the civil war. 

The blaze comes at a time of economic turmoil in the country. Because of inadequate firefighting capabilities Lebanon's defense minister has asked for help from the Cypriots who sent two aircraft to assist. 

Footage from social media shows residents evacuating to escape the raging inferno as flames slowly creep near their homes. 

Firefighters managed to control the forest fire earlier, but strong winds and high temperatures revived the blaze. They are also battling forest fires in Akkar district, after extinguishing fires on the outskirts of Ain Tinta and Qobeiyat. A large flame continues to swallow up parts of an oak forest on the outskirts of Ain Yaacoub.

A local Lebanese TV anchor appeared on air covering the story. She burst into tears at the screams of people escaping their burning homes without any help, and pleaded for rescue to arrive. 

Interior Minister, Raya El Hassan, who visited the Shouf blaze site that started two days ago, said that it is currently “fire season.” There have been no reports of casualties so far. 

The fires are allegedly reaching Syria. One Twitter user shared a video of her hometown Marmarita in Syria utterly destroyed by the fires. 

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