Lebanon's coastal areas flooded after torrential rain

Winter downpours wreak havoc on roads in country already stricken by economic crisis

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Parts of Lebanon have been battered by heavy rain and flooding, with images online showing cars submerged as muddy water gushes through streets.

The Keserwan-Jbeil governorate was particularly hard hit, amid the arrival of the country’s winter rains.

Lebanon’s Civil Defence was mobilised to rescue people trapped in their cars and to tow vehicles.

Amid flooding there were also extensive traffic jams on the coastal Jounieh motorway, a busy main road that leads to and from Beirut.

In Kfar Habab, an area north-east of Beirut, the streets resembled rivers as water rushed down the hill.

Contractors worked overnight to clear debris and dirt left by the floods, said Ali Hamie, Minister of Public Works and Transport.

Lebanon was already struggling with its ailing infrastructure before an economic crisis, that first struck in 2019, worsened the situation.

Car accidents are common and roads are often uneven or poorly paved. With winter only just beginning, further flooding is expected in the coming months.

Residents are set for a tough winter amid the crisis, with much of the population plunged into poverty and the local currency losing more than 95 per cent of its value.

Basics such as medicine, clean water and bread are in short supply. A near total absence of state electricity means many will struggle to heat their homes — or will have to rely on expensive, diesel-guzzling generators.

Updated: November 30, 2022, 11:55 AM