SIDON, Lebanon: High winds and torrential downpours overnight led to small-scale damage across Lebanon Friday, toppling billboards, littering streets with debris and closing many sea ports.
For the first time this year, wind speeds surpassed 70 kilometers per hour. Streets in the northern district of Akkar and around the southern city of Sidon were transformed into swamps, while trash, fallen trees and other debris blocked roads temporarily.
The southern sea ports of Sidon and Tyre remained closed, after fishermen had Thursday lifted their boats from the water or fastened them securely to piers in anticipation of storm surges.
The storm caused one fishing boat, belonging to local fisherman Mustafi Wahbi, to sink.
Temperatures dropped significantly overnight, with snow covering mountains across the country from between 900 to 1000 meters above sea level.
Sidon’s maritime road in the direction of Jiyyeh was strewn with garbage after tons of waste – accumulated in a roadside dump – was swept into the streets. A municipal bulldozer was seen clearing the road in the early hours of Friday.
Meanwhile, Lebanon’s mountain passes, including the Dahr al-Baidar road towards Zahle and the Kesrouan road leading towards the ski resort area of Faraya, were blocked due to heavy snowfall.