Floods Cause Travel Chaos in Israel and Lebanon

Southern Europe isn’t the only place currently experiencing storms and high levels of rainfall.

Torrential downpours have caused flooding across parts of Israel, the Palestinian territories and Lebanon. The latest spate of flooding comes less than 2 weeks after 3 people died and at least 60 were injured in flooding in Israel and Jordan in early November.

In a 24 hour period between 16 and 17 November, 73 mm of rain fell in Beirut. In Israel, Ben-Gurion International Airport, Tel Aviv, had 83mm between 15 and 16 November.

The storms have caused power outages across the region. Travel has also been left in chaos after roads, railways and airports were all badly hit by floods.

Once again the important road network leading to Beirut airport was flooded and blocked. These roads are notorious for flooding after heavy rain – they were flooded after floods in December 2013 in almost the exact same way.

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Flooded car park at Beirut airport, January 2013. Photo: A Karim Khalifeh

Local media are reporting that accusations as to who is at fault are already flying and Lebanon’s judiciary are demanding the names of the public works contractors from Transportation Minister Ghazi Zeaiter.

In Israel, Tel Aviv, Bethlehem and parts of the West Bank, in particular Jericho, all saw some flooding. Although the severe weather is expected to cease in the next 24 hours, river levels in the region will remain high for several more days. Any further rain could bring more flooding.