Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Travel News .

2 dead in Lebanon as snowstorm batters Mideast
By Sara Hussein
Beirut (AFP) Jan 7, 2015

A Syrian man and a young boy died in Lebanon as a rare snowstorm Wednesday battered parts of the Middle East, adding to the misery of war refugees from Syria.

The bodies of the two Syrians, including the six-year-old boy, were found in the Shebaa region of south Lebanon, the Red Cross said.

A security source told AFP they were refugees crossing the mountainous border between Syria and Lebanon, where temperatures plunged as low as minus 7 degrees Celsius (20 Fahrenheit).

State National News Agency reported a third person had died in the mountains apparently of exposure, but there was no immediate confirmation as a Red Cross source said heavy snow was hampering search operations.

The deaths came as a major storm struck the Middle East, hitting Syrian refugees living in makeshift camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

Many refugees in Lebanon were trapped in their tents by snow, struggling to stay warm in temperatures hovering around zero degrees.

The UN's refugee agency distributed cash and fuel coupons to over 80,000 refugee families ahead of the storm, which forced the closure of all Lebanese ports and briefly shut Beirut's international airport. Schools stayed closed Wednesday.

In Majdalun, close to the eastern town of Baalbek, around 40 tents were cut off from surrounding villages by a thick layer of snow, an AFP photographer said.

"There is a lack of food and heating materials," said one man who stepped out of his tent.

"We are asking charities to intervene. We're scared the tents will collapse under the weight of the snow."

Heavy snowfall also cut several roads in mountainous areas of Lebanon, where more than a million Syrians fleeing civil war have sought refuge.

"I've been a refugee here for two years but this is the worst winter I've seen," said Mohammad al-Hussein, who lives in an east Lebanon camp with his wife and five children.

"We feel humiliated," he added.

In Jordan, the UN children's fund, UNICEF, said it would provide assistance to more than 40,000 Syrian children in two refugee camps.

"It is imperative to ensure that children are protected from the harsh weather conditions," UNICEF representative Robert Jenkins said.

And the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies announced an emergency winter appeal of $19 million (16 million) for Syrian refugees in Iraq.

- Schools closed -

In Israel and the Palestinian Territories, hundreds of schools were closed.

Across Jerusalem, streets were largely deserted and few people ventured out to brave the high winds and intermittent rain, AFP correspondents said.

Snow began falling shortly after midday, sending the last remaining shoppers scurrying back home as driving sleet, thunder and lightning set in.

Lightning also struck the control tower at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, officials said. The tower immediately moved to its backup system, causing only a slight delay to flights.

By mid-afternoon, around 9,000 homes across Israel were left without power, army radio said, largely due to trees falling onto power lines due to gale force winds.

Bulldozers were put on standby in Jerusalem ready to clear roads of snow.

Streets across the West Bank city of Ramallah, which stands at 2,861 feet (872 metres) above sea level, were also deserted as people hunkered down ahead of the storm, an AFP correspondent said.

- Syria, Egypt affected -

The impoverished Gaza Strip, devastated during a July-August war with Israel, also battened down the hatches.

The normally jammed streets of Gaza City were largely empty and many shops closed.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians who had their homes destroyed in the 50-day war are still without permanent shelter and the UN distributed extra food and generators to try to ease chronic electricity shortages.

In Syria, schools were closed and many government officials unable to make their way to work through the snowy streets of Damascus.

State news agency SANA said snow and rain fell Wednesday in most provinces of the war-ravaged nation.

Authorities in Egypt shut ports in Alexandria on the Mediterranean and on the Red Sea coast.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
It's A White Out at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Travel chaos as heavy snow hits Turkey
Istanbul (AFP) Jan 06, 2015
Heavy snowfall descended on large parts of Turkey on Tuesday, snarling road and air traffic and leading to closures of schools, reports said. In the northern province of Karabuk, a school bus went off the road and turned over on to its side in slick conditions caused by snow, leaving a student dead and 18 others injured, the Dogan news agency reported. The snowfall also seriously disru ... read more

Soyuz Installed at Baikonur, Expected to Launch Wednesday

SpaceX aborts launch of Falcon 9 on landmark rocket test

Elon Musk divorces actress wife Talulah Riley

SpaceX to try ocean platform landing of Falcon rocket

Inflatable 'Donut' to Bring Astronauts to Mars

New Project Scientist for Mars Rover

New analyses suggests water binds to sulfates in Martian soil

Isro's Mangalyaan Completes 100 Days in Mars Orbit

Chinese spacecraft to return to moon's orbit

Russian Company Proposes to Build Lunar Base

'Shooting the Moon' with Satellite Laser Ranging

Moon Express testing compact lunar lander at Kennedy

Swarms of Pluto-Size Objects Kick Up Dust around Adolescent Sun-Like Star

On Pluto's Doorstep, NASA's New Horizons Spacecraft Awakens for Encounter

New Horizons Wakes Up on Pluto's Doorstep

NASA craft to probe Pluto after nine-year journey

New Instrument Reveals Recipe For Other Earths

Super-Earths Have Long-Lasting Oceans

Stretched-out solid exoplanets

Kepler Proves It Can Still Find Planets

Angara-A5 Launch Opens New Page in Russia's Space Exploration

Russia successfully test-launches new rocket

India launches biggest ever rocket into space

ISRO to Test-Fly Heaviest Rocket, Crew Module on December 18

China launches the FY-2 08 meteorological satellite successfully

China's Long March puts satellite in orbit on 200th launch

Countdown to China's new space programs begins

China develops new rocket for manned moon mission: media

Philae probing comet with hours left on battery

Comet probe in race against time to crown stellar feat

Comet probe 'may revive in March': French space chief

Dawn Spacecraft Begins Approach to Dwarf Planet Ceres

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.