Beirut – In Lebanon, light rain at the end September generally marks the end of summer. This year, however, heavy rains after the 20th gave the impression of summer transitioning directly into winter. Some experts attributed the unusual weather event to climate change that is affecting the planet as a whole.
Heavy rains over three days damaged crops and plastic sheeting throughout Lebanon, flooded a number of homes in the Choueyaafat area, and inundated roads, blocking traffic. The Chouf region witnessed landslides and mudslides. In Batroun, agricultural fields turned into lakes and the rains devastated poultry farms, leading to the loss of thousands of chickens. The bad weather also crippled electricity networks in several areas; photos showed numerous power lines severed in the face of the inclement weather. Fishermen stayed in port to avoid severe winds and high waves.
Farmers demanded compensation for damages to their crops from the High Rescue Agency. The Ministry of Works was blamed for these losses, although it recently held workshops on cleaning canals and streams to avoid flooding.
Climate change has become the focus of many studies in Lebanon and abroad. Lebanese Minister of the Environment Tony Karam participated in the World Climate Change Conference held in Geneva in late August where participants considered ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
One year ago, Beirut issued its first national report on climate change, which revealed that Lebanon produces a substantial amount of greenhouse gases that contribute to the deterioration of the climate.
World Health Organisation representative in Lebanon, Hussein Abu Zeid, stated during a scientific symposium that, "The Middle East will become one of the regions most affected by global climate change."
Sources: LBC / MTV /