Severe storm wreaks havoc in Lebanon's capital

Severe storm topples wall, gravestones in Beirut Jewish cemetery
1 min read
26 December, 2019
A 19th century Jewish cemetery in Beirut has been lashed by storm Loulou, which has also caused flooding and landslides in parts of Lebanon.
The cemetery in Beirut's Sodeco district dates back to the early 1820s [Getty]

A severe storm, carrying heavy rain and strong winds, toppled an old wall and several graves at a Jewish cemetery in the Lebanese capital on Thursday.

The cemetery in Beirut's Sodeco district, which dates back to the early 1820s, is Lebanon's only Jewish cemetery and has been closed to the public for many years.

Heavy rain and winds toppled the cemetery's stone wall, tumbling onto several graves and tombstones that came crashing down. The fallen tombstones with Hebrew writing on them could be seen from the main street where the wall had collapsed.

Lebanon once had a thriving Jewish community. As many as 15,000 to 22,000 Jews lived in Lebanon in the mid-1960s, but the various Arab-Israeli wars and Lebanon’s own 1975-90 conflict caused waves of emigration and today, almost none are left in the country.

Read also: In Lebanon, revolution soothes a depressed nation

The storm, which has been dubbed "Loulou," has lashed Lebanon and also caused flooding and landslides in parts of the country while the first heavy snow fell on the mountains, forcing some road closures.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay connected