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Storm batters Middle East, Syrian refugees with rain and snow

January 09, 2019; 12:15 PM

A long-duration storm has brought heavy rain and travel-halting snow to parts of the Middle East in recent days.

The storm turned deadly after an 8-year-old girl drown in flood waters in Lebanon, according to the Associated Press.

Lebanon AP 1/9

Civil Defense workers struggle to push a stranded car on a street in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Traffic was severely impacted by the storm in Lebanon, including the capital of Beirut, where cars were left submerged in flood waters and many streets were closed after river flooding on Wednesday.

Lebanon Snow 1/9

Lebanese soldiers try to get their car running after it was stuck in snow, in the village of Hammana village, Mount Lebanon, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

While lower elevations were left to deal with flooding, the mountains endured a heavy snowfall which also caused significant travel disruptions.

Heavy equipment and military forces were being used to clear the snow and allow travel to resume across the region.

Syrian refugee camps in the higher terrain were also blanketed with snow while lower-elevation camps suffered severe flooding putting people at risk for illnesses.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported on Wednesday that a total of 151 settlements and 11,000 refugees had been severely impacted by the storm.

The good news is that dry weather is forecast across the region from Thursday into this weekend.

Another storm will bring the risk for rain by late Sunday or Sunday night. The highest elevations could once again be at risk for snowfall.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com



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