Al Jazeera Net correspondents
Idlib- Muhammad Khadro was carrying some of the furniture from his house, and his load was not light enough for him to flee with his family from his place of residence overlooking the Orontes River in the city of Darkush in the countryside. Idlib western.
Khadro fled to a mountain house far from the course of the Orontes River after its level rose to record levels, submerging a number of homes, swimming pools, and restaurants overlooking the river, amid warnings of new rain storms.
Khadro says – in an interview with Al Jazeera Net – that, “For decades, the Orontes River has not reached this level, as it flooded – for the first time – homes and water began to flow through the neighborhoods, which threatens to collapse old homes on top of their residents.”
He added, “The Darkush region is known to have a fertile agricultural nature, and every season it exports tons of vegetables and fruits, but this year the seasons will be greatly damaged due to water flooding the orchards, which threatens the farmers' agricultural seasons.”
Orontes floods and spreads diseases
The Syrian Civil Defense warned that “the impact of the Orontes River flood and torrents is not limited to the direct impact of threatening the safety of the population and increasing their suffering, but the greatest danger it carries is manifested in the spread of water-borne diseases as a result of weak or absent sewage networks, and the exhaustion of the health care system as a result of the ongoing war conditions.” “.
The rainstorm damage was concentrated more on the areas of the western Idlib countryside and the camps there, due to the rise in the water level of the Orontes River as a result of the heavy rainfall, the opening of several dams on the river, and the flooding of several streams of water tributary to the river in the areas of Al-Zouf, Al-Hamboushieh, Ain Al-Bayda, Darkush, and Khirbet Al-Joz in the Idlib countryside. Western, where several camps were damaged by floods, and water seeped into several civilian homes in the city of Darkush.
The flood of the tributaries of the Orontes River also submerged agricultural lands in the areas of Batya and Al-Ghazala, and the Tulul area near the city of Salqin in the same countryside, due to the rise in the river’s water level. The torrential rains also caused the closure of several roads in the areas of Harem, Kafr Takharim, Farjin, and Badama, and rainwater and torrential rains collected in several homes. For civilians in the areas of Harem, Badama, Al-Hamboushieh and Ain Al-Hour.
Rainy season nightmare
For his part, a member of the White Helmets Board of Directors, Ahmed Yazji, indicated that the Syrian Civil Defense teams are fully prepared to respond to any emergency in the event that the level of the Orontes River increases and its waters flood cities and towns, “as the teams continue their work in strengthening the earthen berms on the shoulder of the Orontes River, in parallel.” With response work and service work to alleviate the damage and suffering experienced by civilians and displaced people in northwestern Syria.”
He considered that “the great damage caused by the heavy rains would not have occurred if the population had been living in normal conditions, but the repercussions of the war between the Assad regime and Russia have made the rainy season that the population is waiting for a nightmare that increases their suffering, in light of the presence of about two million displaced people living in camps that lack the necessities of life.” And infrastructure, and the devastating earthquake disaster on February 6 displaced tens of thousands of families and weakened their livelihoods.”
He believed that the tragedy experienced by the displaced cannot be solved by providing services to the camps, despite their importance and necessity, nor even by building cement camps, as their suffering is deeper than mere housing.
Yazji explained that the only radical solution is to provide safety for civilians to return to their homes, and then the need for humanitarian and relief support will diminish, and until this solution is achieved, living conditions that preserve their human dignity must be achieved for them.
The flood caused damage to agricultural lands in the town of Jarez Rif Aleppo In the north, agricultural lands were submerged and water approached one of the civilian homes. Torrents formed as a result of the heavy rainfall, causing damage to the camps with water submerging tents and mud forming on their roads in several areas in the northern and eastern Aleppo countryside.
The heavy rainfall led to the collapse of a wall in a temporary residence in the Atma camps, north of Idlib, the partial collapse of a mud house in the town of Taqad, west of Aleppo, and a rock collapse on tents to shelter survivors of the earthquake within the Al-Shorfa camp near Azmarin, west of Idlib, without causing any casualties.
The water flooded the tent of Ahmed Al-Rai (a civilian from the western Idlib countryside), and all his clothes were wet. He remained with his children, shivering from the cold in the open air, where he collected some sticks to light them for warmth amid the intensifying rainstorm.
Al-Rai said, in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net, “This year is the harshest since the beginning of my displacement. I see my children trembling in front of me, and I am completely unable to provide warmth or even shelter. If our situation remains without help, our lives are in danger.”
He added – in his speech – that most of the camps in the region have been flooded, and the people are launching distress calls to save them from the extreme cold, “because they have no shelter, no fuel, and no food.”
In turn, the “Syria Response Coordinators” team documented the damage to about 110,000 displaced people, within 309 camps in northwestern Syria, as a result of the heavy rainfall that led to torrents and floods.
For his part, the director of the “Idlibion” volunteer team, Ibrahim Al-Zaydan, confirmed – in an interview with Al Jazeera Net – that they have begun campaigns to help the displaced in the tents, but the scale of the need is very large, and they need the combined efforts of all organizations in order to help them, according to him.
He added, “Thousands of displaced people need to be transferred to shelter centers far from the camps that have been flooded, and they urgently need heating materials, blankets, food baskets, hygiene, and clothing.”