Homes were destroyed by huge fires that have ripped through the Shouf mountains in Lebanon.
Massive wildfires in the Chouf mountains and Metn expanded overnight, burning homes and leading local residents to flee.— Timour Azhari (@timourazhari) October 15, 2019
Many criticizing the state’s response, especially as 3 firefighting helicopters are out of service because the spare parts haven’t been secured #لبنان_يحترق https://t.co/P6p0cCf2ru
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.
It’s almost 4 AM here, around 34 °C (unusual for October), the country was just hit by massive fires, cabinet appears to be sleeping, and the people are........... cheering(?) Lebanon. pic.twitter.com/l3KG5h9lnF— Ali (@Ali_Kourani) October 15, 2019
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.
Lebanon is burning.Probably the biggest fire this country has seen.— Romy (@romyjournalist) October 15, 2019
Houses have been destroyed, acres of trees have been razed..
We dont have the necessary equipment/tools to fight the raging wildfires
We need international help
Share the message & #PrayForLebanon #لبنان_يحترق pic.twitter.com/vntPTInEJP
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.
Definitely not a good morning. Today we mourn for Lebanon. Fires have been going on for 2 days now! We urge everyone capable of helping to act and put an end to this horrible catastrophe!#لبنان_يحترق https://t.co/fzt3q4TeoI— Rouy (@Roudy_Hanna) October 15, 2019
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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