Areas throughout Lebanon continue to experience transportation disruptions due to heavy rain and snow from Storm Norma as of Tuesday, January 8. Most schools around the country were closed on Tuesday and Lebanon’s education minister called for further closures on Wednesday, January 9. Authorities also closed the highway between Beirut and Damascus (Syria) due to heavy snow in the mountains. According to the Traffic Management Committee (TMC), 11 vehicle accidents have been reported in the past 24 hours, resulting in one fatality and 16 injuries. Another seven cars were involved in an accident on Tuesday morning (local time) on the Jiyé highway towards Beirut. The UN announced that around 300 Syrian refugees living in the northern and eastern parts of the Bekka region have been relocated following heavy flooding and snow.
Storm Norma is forecast to reach its peak on Tuesday night, but it is expected to continue to affect the country through Thursday, January 10. Flooding, snowfall (in higher elevations), and associated landslides, transportation disruptions, and power outages are to be expected in Lebanon over the coming days.
Storm Norma hit Lebanon on Saturday, January 5. Heavy snowfall from the storm has caused significant traffic disruptions along mountainous roads throughout the country.
Individuals in Lebanon are advised to monitor local weather forecasts, prepare for transportation disruptions (including flight delays and cancelations, as well as road closures), allow extra time to reach their destinations, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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