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Lebanon declares a state of an environmental emergency following wildfires

Written by FDM

On Monday night, a series of violent fires described as “unprecedented for decades” took over Lebanon. The fires ravaged many green spaces and homes in the Chouf, especially in the region of Mechref, as a consequence of a strong heatwave aided by strong winds.

Firefighters in Lebanon on Tuesday battled massive wildfires in several areas in the country, before moderate rains in the evening brought them under control in most affected areas.

The Minister of the Environment, Fady Jreissati, has nevertheless declared the state of environmental emergency. “On this tragic day for Lebanon and its forests (…) I declare the state of environmental emergency that requires the union to support the Civil Defense and the reforestation of the country which will become again the” Green Lebanon “,  he wrote on his Twitter account.

In addition to the massive damage, at least one man died. According to the National News Agency (Ani, official), the victim had previously undergone heart surgery. The Ministry of Health announced late in the morning that it would cover the costs of hospitalization due to fires.

Meantime, the Lebanese Red Cross has announced that they had treated a total of 106 people between Monday evening and Tuesday, across the country. “Most people in care had difficulty breathing, fainting, and superficial burns.”