A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
Lebanon has been hit by a major snow storm "Zeina" (as nominated by the meteorologist) as of Tuesday 6 January 2015. The Storm is affecting the entire country and it has blocked major roads leading to mountain villages starting from 700m above sea level. Coastal roads and villages are being affected by six to nine meter sea waves which have developed floods. In coastal areas, the storm caused the ports of Sidon, Tyre and Tripoli to shut down for the second day on Wednesday, while hail fell in Beirut and the temperature dropped to less than six Celsius degrees, a rare occurrence in the capital. In north Lebanon, thick layers of snow covered the mountains and slopes in Akkar, and a thin layer reached the coast for the first time in 60 years.
Roads from an altitude of 600 meters above sea level were still blocked by snow, as bulldozers and snowplows began clearing main motorways Thursday to unblock many villages that were completely cut off.
Most villages above 1,200 meters have been completely blocked out. Weather conditions are making it very difficult to reach blocked out villages. The storm is accompanied by extreme temperatures as low as -16 C and strong winds halting air traffic at Beirut airport and prompting the government to order the closure of schools across the country. Coastal areas are being affected by major floods that have damaged houses and property along the coast. The entire population, Lebanese and refugees, are being affected and are facing extreme weather conditions. Based on the ongoing assessment held by the Lebanese Red Cross there is more than One Million people are affected by this storm.