Lebanon News

Body pulled from lake in Bekaa after flood

A man clears mud from his shop after floodwater swept through Labweh, Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. (The Daily Star/Nidal Solh)

BAALBECK, Lebanon: A man who had drowned in a lake in Bekaa’s Jabbouleh was pulled out of the water Friday by Civil Defense, after heavy rains triggered floods in the area.

Ali Nabil Shames, 28, drowned Thursday night after a torrent of floodwater carrying stones and gravel swept through towns in the Bekaa.

Shames had been hunting ducks at the lake when he was pulled by the flood current, a source told The Daily Star. Floodwaters carrying rocks and mud had blocked roads and damaged houses, shops and farmlands.

In the morning, owners of shops located in the village’s square went to check on their properties, which sustained minor to heavy damages.

Ahmad al-Habash, who owns a small shop, and Ali Rabah, who owns a fabrics store next to it, found all the contents of their shops damaged by the muddied water.

Habash said the flood caught residents and shop owners by surprise. He said he succeeded in entering the shop and closing the iron gate behind him, but the current of flowing waters made its way in, destroying all of his goods.

Head of the Higher Relief Commission Maj. Gen. Mohammad al-Kheir visited the town and toured the square hit by the disaster, at the request of Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri.

Hariri had instructed the committee to take immediate action in both Labweh in northern Bekaa and Al-Faour at Bekaa’s center the two areas that were affected the most, Kheir said.

A specialized committee under the relief commission and another from the Lebanese Army both carried out assessments and registered damages, Kheir added.

The reports will be presented to Cabinet, pending referral to the Finance Ministry, so compensations can be issued to affected residents and business owners.

Kheir announced that the Higher Relief Commission has developed an action plan with the Public Works Ministry, Energy and Water Ministry, Civil Defense and Lebanese Red Cross, in cooperation with the Army and Finance Ministry, to quickly restore areas hit by natural disasters.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 13, 2018, on page 3.

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