Middle East: Floods and Cold Wave - Dec 2018Ongoing
Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has responded to the heavy rain and subsequent floods in northern Syria, which affected thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) in 22 camps across five towns of Idlib and Aleppo Governorates.
The bad weather damaged 2,214 tents inhabited by 2,329 households in Atme, Sarmada, Deir Hassan, Al-Dana, and Al-Bab.
In response, QRCS's representation mission in Gaziantep, Turkey, activated its disaster information center to manage the emergency response. It coordinates with United Nations agencies, as well as local and international relief providers, to monitor the movement of IDPs, evacuate the submerged camps, and secure transportation and shelter. (Qatar Red Crescent Society, Dec 31 2018)
Lebanon started feeling the effects of a heavy storm on Sunday 6 January 2019. Heavy rain, high winds and colder temperatures were reported all over Lebanon. Some regions were affected by either floodings, erosions or heavy snow. This situation reports highlights the impact of the storm on Syrian refugees and response that followed. 50,000 refugees living in around 850 informal settlements could be affected by floodings.
The impact of the storm ‘Norma’ has necessitated the activation of an extreme weather response over the weekend following referrals received and forecast indicating a drop in temperatures, with snowfall at lower altitudes. Assessment of damage is underway and response has started to affected areas. Extreme weather response is being coordinated by MoSA and UNHCR through the Inter-Agency coordination mechanism.
At minimum 66 informal settlements have been found heavily impacted by the flooding, 15 of which have been completely flooded or collapsed. Around 300 refugees have been relocated so far in the North and the Bekaa. No injuries or casualties have been reported to date. (UNHCR, 7 Jan 2018)
Storm "Norma" has caused damages to infrastructure, roads and homes across Lebanon, putting at least 70,000 refugees at risk, more than half of whom are children, based on the latest humanitarian update. "The storm has caused the collapse of many tents and flooding of several informal settlements to the points that refugees had to evacuate to alternative locations," says Giovanni Rizzo, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) Area Manager in Bekaa. (NRC, 10 Jan 2019)
At least 700 Syrian refugees have been evacuated and 900 Syrian refugees are displaced by the impact of the storm (IFRC 9/1/2019; Syria Direct 9/1/2019;). Akkar, Baalbek-Hermel and Bekaa governorates are worst hit by heavy snowfall and flooding. Priority needs are shelter, winterisation kits including blankets, warm clothes, and heating fuel as well as health, WASH and food assistance. (ACAPS, 13 Jan 2019)
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The Norwegian Refugee Council has so far assisted 8,700 Syrian refugees after storm “Norma” and “Miriam” caused damage to informal settlement and substandard shelters in Lebanon.
As refugees and Lebanese households continue to be exposed to adverse weather conditions, partners respond to the needs of those who have been affected and are reinforcing preparedness and mitigation efforts.
A. Situation Analysis
Description of the Disaster
In the Arsal region in northeastern Lebanon, the camps where Syrian refugees were sheltered were completely covered by snow. Calls for help are rising from the area where the deaths by exposure can occur.
Arsal, the highest region of Lebanon with 2 thousand altitude, is the place where Syrian refugees densely live. People are having a hard time because of heavy snow and cold. The IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) launched an immediate aid efforts for the refugee camp with a population of 35,000.
Food, blanket and diesel are urgently needed
17 January 2019, Damascus, Syria – The World Health Organization expresses severe concern about the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Rukban settlement close to the border with Jordan, and calls for immediate access to the settlement to assess the health situation, provide essential medicines and medical supplies, and support the medical evacuation of critically ill patients.
In mid December intercommunal clashes between people of Banunu and Batende ethnicities in Yumbi territory (Mai-Ndombe) left almost 900 people dead and some 465 houses and buildings destroyed. Around 24,000 people fled to neighbouring Congo-Brazzaville. The new refugee influx places additional pressure on the 10,000 members of the host community already in need of humanitarian assistance. The renewed violence is believed to be related to tensions surrounding the recent election process.
- Strong wind, heavy rain, and snow has been affecting Lebanon, causing flash floods that resulted in casualties and damage.
- As of 17 January at 8.00 UTC, media report that two people have died (one in Sidon District and one in Tyre District, southern Lebanon), one person is missing and nine people have been injured due to storm related events.
- Humanitarian agencies supported by DG ECHO are responding to acute emergency needs resulting from the storm.
In early January, Lebanon was hit by the Norma storm, causing heavy rains and snowfall, creating difficulties for Syrian refugees. Unprecedented flooding has affected more than 50,000 refugees living in tents, in some 850 informal settlements across Lebanon.
In the space of just two weeks, storms ‘Norma’ and ‘Miriam’ have brought torrential rain, freezing winds and snow to Lebanon, leaving Syrian refugee settlements under flood water. Concern has been providing vital support to vulnerable families.
Harshest winter in years
BEIRUT, 16 January 2019 – Devastation generated by the latest storms across Lebanon have left vulnerable children relocated and in need of protection and warmth, with refugee children especially affected. UNICEF, working with partners, and in close coordination with UNHCR, other UN agencies and the government of Lebanon, started immediate response last week to meet the needs of the affected children and their families.
Geneva, Switzerland - At least 15 Syrian displaced children, 13 under the age of one, have died in the past few weeks due to extreme cold, harsh living conditions, and lack of access to medical care. According to the UN, at least eight of those deaths are of children in the Rukban camp near the Syrian-Jordanian border.
In the wake of a severe cold front and winter storms hitting Lebanon, Action Against Hunger is providing aid to help refugees cope.
More than 340,000 Syrian refugees in Bekaa Valley now face new challenges due to heavy rain and snow, high winds, and frigid temperatures that have hit Lebanon.
Extreme weather in Lebanon has left thousands of Syrian refugees without shelter and protection, as strong winds, heavy rain and snowfall battered the country last week – blowing away hundreds of tents and makeshift homes.
Partners continue to work tirelessly to respond to the effects of the storms and enhance preparedness measures to mitigate further adverse effects of future extreme weather.
January 14th, 2019 ― Doha: In response to Storm Norma, Qatar Red Crescent Society’s (QRCS) mission in Lebanon has taken action to help the affected Syrian refugees at the shelter camps of Arsal Town, 124 km northeast of Beirut.
From day one, QRCS’s relief personnel started distributing blankets and tarpaulin sheets to the neediest families stuck in snow. So far, 443 blankets and 444 tarpaulins have been distributed at three shelter camps, which are not snow-proof.
These distributions benefited 444 Syrian families, or 2,220 persons.
Under the supervision of the Regulatory Authority for Charitable Activities (RACA), Qatar Charity (QC) launched “Arsal Relief” campaign to provide immediate assistance to Syrian refugees affected by snowstorms. The campaign seeks to raise $5.5mn approximately to provide heating facilities, food and medicines.
The campaign has been launched in response to the difficult conditions being faced by Syrian refugees in the town of Arsal and other Lebanese areas due to Storm Norma, which lashed Arsal last week.
Since Sunday no newly affected sites have been identified but response continued in those affected last week. Preparedness measures are being taken for storm Miriam, which is expected to begin Tuesday evening and continue through Thursday morning. On Tuesday, winds are anticipated to gradually intensify, possibly reaching 100 km/h. Strong winds are predicted to continue on Wednesday accompanied by thunderstorms that could lead to flooding and soil erosion. Temperatures are expected to decline, especially in the North with snow as low as 600 meters above sea level.
January 13th, 2019 ― Doha: In response to the bad weather spell in northern Syria, Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has provided vital winterization aid to as many as 60,380 beneficiaries.
QRCS’s mission in Turkey repaired 254 family tents, with additional 200 tents to be repaired over the coming few days. These tents host more than 2,200 people. Also, 12,500 blankets and mattresses were distributed to 2,796 families in the rural parts of Idlib, Aleppo, and Hama.
Lebanon started feeling the effects of a heavy storm on Sunday 6 January 2019. Heavy rain, high winds and colder temperatures were reported all over Lebanon. Some regions were affected by either flooding, strong winds, erosion or snowfall. This situation reports highlights the impact of the storm on Syrian refugees, the response that followed and preperations for the upcoming storm on Sunday 13 January
One dead and more than 11,000 affected by days of heavy rain and high winds from Storm Norma, with hundreds of refugees forced to abandon their homes.
By Edith Champagne and Houssam
Hariri in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon | 11 January 2019 |
Syrian refugee Juriya Ramadan wades through the murky, ankle-deep water that inundated her shelter in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley three nights ago, carrying her barefooted son across the freezing deluge.