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World IN IMAGES. Forest fires have ravaged large swathes of Syria and Lebanon

21:36  10 october  2020
21:36  10 october  2020 Source:   lexpress.fr

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For several days, several fires have broken out in Syria and nearly a hundred in Lebanon.

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Huge forest fires have broken out in Syria and Lebanon in recent days, devouring vast wooded areas and sometimes approaching homes without the firefighters still being able to fully tame them.

"Syria is burning", we read on images and videos circulating on social networks, while the Syrian state television broadcasts since this Saturday morning images of the fires which extend over hundreds of hectares. Two people died on Friday in Latakia, in western Syria, according to the Ministry of Health, which also recorded 70 cases of suffocation on Saturday.

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Friday evening, the Syrian Minister of Agriculture, Mohamad Hassane Katna, had indicated on a local radio the outbreak of several dozen fires, "including 45 in Latakia, 33 in Tartous" (west) and others in Homs (center). "We are facing the biggest series of fires that have ever taken place in the province of Latakia," the city's firefighters said on their Facebook page.


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Several families have fled residential areas near the fires, according to local media. According to the official Sana agency, houses were set on fire in the town of Banias (Tartous).

"The situation is insane"

In neighboring Lebanon, more than a hundred fires have broken out since Thursday. "The situation is insane, fires are everywhere," said the director of operations for Lebanese civil defense, Georges Abou Moussa.

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Although most of the fires were brought under control, some fires are still raging in the regions of Chouf (south) and Akkar (north), "difficult to achieve, "according to Abou Moussa. "Wind and heat contribute to the spread of fires," he added, without being able to determine the cause of their outbreak.

In October 2019, large-scale forest fires broke out in Lebanon, fueling the anger of the population in the face of a State devoid of suitable equipment and accused of corruption and incompetence. These fires would have been one of the multiple factors triggering year ago the unprecedented popular uprising against the Lebanese political class.

Several fires have also broken out in recent days in Israel, neighboring Syria and Lebanon, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people according to the authorities.

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