Heavy rain causes floods, paralyzes Lebanon’s capital

1 / 3
Cars are stuck after breaking down on a flooded road due to heavy rain, at the southern entrance of the Lebanese capital Beirut on December 9, 2019. (AFP)
2 / 3
Lebanese men use a paddle board as means of transportation on a flooded road due to heavy rain, at the southern entrance of the capital Beirut on December 9, 2019. (AFP)
3 / 3
People walk through floodwaters in Beirut's southern suburb of Ouzai, Lebanon on Dec. 9, 2019. (AP)
Updated 09 December 2019

Heavy rain causes floods, paralyzes Lebanon’s capital

  • Every year when it rains, roads get flooded with water because of an inadequate sewage system
  • “I am ready to take full responsibility,” the minister said during a news conference

BEIRUT: A rainstorm paralyzed parts of Lebanon’s capital Beirut on Monday, turning streets to small rivers, stranding motorists inside their vehicles and damaging homes in some areas.
The flooding came as protesters have been holding nearly two months of demonstrations against the country’s political elite and decades of widespread corruption and mismanagement. Protesters remained in their encampments in Beirut and other cities amid the heavy rain.
Despite spending billions of dollars since the 1975-90 civil war on improving infrastructure, Lebanon still suffers hourslong electricity cuts every day, and many people rely on tanker trucks to bring water to their homes. Every year when it rains, roads get flooded with water because of an inadequate sewage system.
The rain began to fall Sunday morning and has affected the entire country, but Beirut and its suburbs were hit the worst.
In the southern suburb of Ouzai, cars were nearly submerged in the rising water, leaving motorists stranded. A tunnel that passes under the Rafik Hariri International Airport remained closed for hours because pumps that clear water from inside it didn’t work.
A man was seen using a surf board to pass through the tunnel, while in other parts of the city some residents used small boats to get around.
Outgoing Minister of Public Works and Transpiration Youssef Fenianos blamed the crisis on what he said was 50-year-old infrastructure and population increases in some areas. He added that as a result of Lebanon’s recent economic and financial crisis, it was difficult to open lines of credit for infrastructure work.
“I am ready to take full responsibility,” the minister said during a news conference.
Fenianos was part of the Cabinet of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who resigned Oct. 29 under fire from the anti-government protesters. A stalemate has since ensued over who should head the new government amid a deepening economic crisis, shortage of liquidity and hard currency.


Libya’s GNA govt detains 35 Egyptian fishermen

Updated 12 August 2020

Libya’s GNA govt detains 35 Egyptian fishermen

  • The GNA is still holding the fishermen without a clear accusation to justify their detention

CAIRO: The fate of at least 35 Egyptian fishermen hangs in the balance after they were arrested by the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) on Nov. 2 last year.  

The families of the fishermen have appealed to the Egyptian government to step up their efforts to secure their freedom as Cairo has been working on their release since November.

Little is known about the fate of the fishermen in Libya other than their location, after it was leaked to Egyptian authorities that they were held in the Turmina Prison, which is affiliated with the GNA.

The head of the Fishermen’s Syndicate in Kafr El-Sheikh, Ahmed Nassar, said they had not been able to communicate with the fishermen since last November and after their disappearance they came to learn that the GNA authorities had detained them.

The GNA is still holding the fishermen without a clear accusation to justify their detention. Nassar said that the fishermen were not fishing in Libyan territory without a permit.

Nassar explained that the fishermen were working on Libyan boats. Alongside them were a number of colleagues working on boats that belong to the Al-Wefaq government. They were not approached by anyone unlike their detained colleagues who were arrested and sent to prison without being charged with any crime.

The Fishermen’s Syndicate chief said that people had called on the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the government, and the consular section had also been contacted about the matter.

Many of the detained fishermen come from Kafr El-Sheikh, while others come from Abu Qir in the governorate of Alexandria.

The fishermen had been supporting families of up to eight members.

Egyptian authorities say they are exerting great efforts to bring the fishermen back safely, while the fishermen’s families continue to demand safety and justice for the men.