In Lebanon, a forest fire began on Monday and has been spreading more and more everyday since. There were reportedly 103 burning fires. ONE HUNDRED AND THREE. We have one building catch fire in Dubai and we think the world is ending.
Olive tree plantations, cars and houses have been burnt down and many civilians have been evacuated. Brave firefighters and volunteers have been working tirelessly to contain the fires but they needed more help. Again...ONE HUNDRED AND THREE!
Riot police vehicles now being used to extinguish fires in the Chouf. Photo: Mohammed Zaatari.@DailyStarLeb is on the scene
Follow our story here: https://t.co/papKZ4UGTl pic.twitter.com/HC1sxK8zW7— Timour Azhari (@timourazhari) 15 October 2019
Citizens stepped in too. They used their own money to pay for water tanks to go and extinguish the fires, but it still isn’t enough. That’s why the country is asking for international help to save what's left!
How did it all begin?
The fire first broke out in Lebanon’s western mountains. As a result, smoke has surrounded Beirut and Sidon (can you imagine how hard it must be to breathe or even stand outside?).
Mechref was one of the worst of many villages to get hit by the fire. The village was evacuated and the flames burnt cars and houses down to ash. People have lost their homes. All the memories, their livliehoods, their properties. It’s terrible what’s happening there.
Was it caused by nature or humans?
The cause of the forest fire has not been reported YET, however, Prime Minister Saad Hariri has said that if it was caused intentionally, whoever did this ‘will pay a price.’ Aeroplanes are carrying tons of water to drop on top of the forests in flames to stop them from spreading. Sadly, it spread to Al Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve which is Lebanon’s cedar forest (the symbolic tree on their flag).
Has anyone gotten hurt?
The Red Cross Lebanon said that 50 civilians suffered suffocation, but were rescued. (Thank goodness). Also, 5 volunteers have been injured and sadly, one volunteer firefighter, Salim Abou Mujahed, passed away in the cedar forest.
Who is going to help them?
As of now the UNIFIL, Cyprus, Greece and Jordan are sending help. Raya Al Hassan, Lebanon’s Interior Minister said that “Two Cypriot planes have been working to put out the fires since yesterday. Greece has responded to our request and will send two planes to help us,” she added that Jordan is ready to help as well.
It has been a very challenging and scary couple of days for the people of Lebanon but, rest assured, help is on the way. If you’d like to help out; find ways to donate to organisations that are offering help in Lebanon such as the Red Cross Lebanon.
This is OUR World. These are OUR People. We have to help them. What if it was you? Take a look at this video to see what Lebanon looks like right now.