Since Monday night, it has been reported that over 104 wildfires have erupted in Lebanon, ripping through the Chouf Mountains and northern parts of Metn in Mount Lebanon, reaching as far as the forests of Zgharta in the north. The Lebanese Civil Defense Directorate has stated that "Lebanon has not seen anything similar for dozens of years, with fires reaching houses and institutions and burning forests home to natural biodiversity.”
The tragedy has shaken the country to its core, with many people desperately trying to spread awareness on social media using the hashtag #PrayforLebanon. Various Lebanese celebrities and influencers, including Lana El Sahely, Jessica Kahawaty and Karen Wazen, have also been using their platforms to call for help for their homeland.
"What is happening today is a national and a natural disaster, and is my priority to address as a Lebanese [citizen]," wrote El Sahely. "My heart and prayers goes out to Chouf, to our Lebanese mountains, to its residents and to every tree bird and flower."
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What is happening today is a national and a natural disaster, and is my priority to address as a Lebanese. A huge fire is raging through Chouf and it has already destroyed forest and agricultural land and houses, and threatens more towns and our cedar reserve.My heart and prayers goes out to Chouf, to our Lebanese mountains, to its residents and to every tree bird and flower. Please take a moment to pray for safety of my lebanon, land and citizens. I hope we wake up to better days soon...# #prayforlebanon — Artwork @rubasidani
Jessica Kahawaty shared a heartbreaking image of the detrimental imapct of the fires, captioning the post, "My heart aches and I feel numb going through all the photos and videos watching helplessly." She also urged her followers to "share legitimate donation sources in the comments for everyone to donate."
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I just woke up in the US to the most chilling news in my beloved Lebanon. Fires are raging through this already fragile country destroying homes and killing families. The country is ill equipped to deal with the magnitude of such a disaster bringing the people and rescue teams to their knees. My heart aches and I feel numb going through all the photos and videos watching helplessly. Please share legitimate donation sources in the comments for everyone to donate. My thoughts are with everyone affected. God help them. #LebanonFires
In a touching post on Instagram, Karen Wazen wrote: "My heart burns as my hometown Lebanon is in flames."
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Harari also issued a statement, noting that: "There is a disaster. We are working very hard and the relief commission will take care of all the damaged properties. The most important thing now is that there are no injuries."
The cause of the fires is yet to be determined.