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Lebanon roads blocked due to heavy snow fall
People pose for pictures near Santa  stand near a statue of the Virgin Mary during a snow storm in the southern village of Qlaya, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
People pose for pictures near Santa stand near a statue of the Virgin Mary during a snow storm in the southern village of Qlaya, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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BEIRUT: Public Works Ministry personnel and Civil Defense volunteers are working Saturday on reopening vital roads across the country that were blocked as a result of heavy snow fall the night before.

In the Bekaa Valley, 40-centimeter of snow covered the mountainous region while the Internal Security Forces said it was working on reopening eight blocked roads in the area.

In the eastern town of Zahle, 30-centimeters of snow accumulated on various streets, blocking a number of roads including those connecting Zahle and Dhour Shoueir; Ain el-Tineh and Yanta; and the Deir al-Ashayer road, according to a statement released by the ISF.

Snow fell on low altitudes of 500 meters above sea level in south Lebanon particularly in the district of Bint Jbeil where temperatures dropped drastically as a result of the harsh winter storm which hit Lebanon earlier this week.

In north Lebanon where only a few roads remained blocked, the temperature settled at a high of minus 4 degrees Celsius and a low of 9 degrees, while in Zahle the temperature reached a high of 2 degrees and a low of minus 2.

Rainfall continued in the capital with the temperature settling at a high of 12 degrees Celsius and a low of 7.

The winter storm "Alexa," the first this year, is expected to gradually subside over the weekend, making way for sunshine across the country particularly on Sunday.

The snowy cold prompted the Education Ministry to close all private and public schools for three days in a row this week.

The death toll from the brutal winter storm rose to four Friday, with the passing of a Syrian refugee infant from a preexisting lung infection exacerbated by bad weather conditions.

Although the storm did not cause massive flooding or damage to infrastructure as predicted, parts of the agricultural sector sustained losses, and fishermen were unable to head out to sea.

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