Forest / Wild Fire in Lebanon on October 15 2019 09:55 AM (UTC).
Thousands of square meters of forests have been destroyed in more than 103 massive fires in several towns and villages in Lebanon since Monday night, the National News Agency (NNA) reported Tuesday. The affected towns and villages include Mechref, Kfar Matta, Daqoun, Zagharta and Dibbiyeh, NNA said. Caused by a sudden rise in temperature, the fires broke out and also reached houses and cars in some of the areas, prompting many people to leave their houses and move to safer regions. George Kettaneh, secretary general of the Lebanese Red Cross (LRC), announced that LRC rescued 49 civilians with suffocating cases in Na'ame, a southern village in Lebanon. Raymond Khattar, director general of the Lebanese Civil Defense (Fire Department), said the massive fires led to the explosion of 20 landmines in Chouf district of Mount Lebanon. These are the worst fires in Lebanon in decades and the country has not witnessed a disaster of such magnitude for years, he added. With the support of Lebanese Armed Forces, Civil defense workers and firefighters have been working since Monday to put out the fires. Lebanese Interior Minister Raya El Hassan said two Cypriot jets arrived on Tuesday to help Lebanese firefighters to control the fires. Cyprus is sending two aircraft to Lebanon to assist in combating forest fires in the neighbouring country. A tweet by the foreign ministry said two fixed-wing firefighting aircraft from the forestry department were being sent to Lebanon, responding to an urgent request for assistance in combating raging forest fires. "We stand in solidarity with friends and neighbours in times of difficulty. Together we are stronger", the twitter post says. Lebanon's defence minister Elias Bou Saab is in Cyprus on Tuesday for a meeting with his Cypriot counterpart Savvas Angelides.