Over 100 huge wildfires rage through Lebanon, the worst in decades

Over 100 huge wildfires rage through Lebanon, the worst in decades

More than 103 huge fires raged through thousands of square meters of forest and several villages in Lebanon on Monday night, October 14, 2019. The affected towns and villages include Mechref, Kfar Matta, Daqoun, Zagharta, and Dibbiyeh, according to the National News Agency's (NNA) report released on Tuesday, October 15, 2019.

The blaze broke out after a sudden increase in temperature, engulfing residential properties and vehicles in flames. The event prompted many people to evacuate their homes and seek safer areas.

George Kettaneh, secretary-general of the Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) said the agency has rescued 49 individuals from suffocation in Na'ame, a village in southern Lebanon.

The fires also caused the explosion of 20 landmines in the Cohuf district of Mount Lebanon, according to Raymond Khattar, director-general of the Lebanese Civil Defense (Fire Department).

Khattar said these are the worst fires to hit Lebanon in decades. He added that the country has not seen a disaster of such magnitude for years.

The Lebanese Armed Forces, Civil defense workers, and firefighters have been working together to put out the blaze.

Lebanese Interior Minister Raya El Hassan said two Cypriot jets arrived on October 15 to aid firefighters in taking out the flames. Cyprus is also sending two aircraft to Lebanon to help in controlling forest fires. Two fixed-wing firefighting aircraft form the forestry department were being sent to Lebanon as well.

Lebanon's defense minister Elias Bou Saab is reportedly in Cyrpus on October 15 for a meeting with his Cypriot counterpart, Savvas Angelides, to address the incident.

Featured image credit: @ApressaTracey/Twitter

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