Heavy downpours and snowfalls have hit a number of settlements housing Syrian refugees in Lebanon and left thousands in need of emergency assistance, aid workers said on Tuesday January 8th, AFP has reported.
Refugees living in Arsal, a mountainous border area in northern Lebanon, were some of the most affected by a storm dubbed “Norma.” Locals reported that roofs of makeshift refugee shacks caved in under the weight of the snow.
The United Nations' refugee agency (UNHCR) said emergency measures had been put in place to rescue stranded families and help those suffering from the cold.
“Across Lebanon, at least 66 informal settlements have been found heavily impacted by the flooding, 15 of which have completely flooded or collapsed,” UNHCR spokesperson Lisa Abou Khaled said.
“Around 300 people have been relocated so far in the north and the (eastern) Bekaa region,” she told AFP.
Lebanon hosts an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees, many of whom live in informal settlements that have little or no infrastructure.