Tens of thousands of people have been affected by devastating flooding, many of whom have been forced to sleep outdoors after makeshift tents were destroyed.
Heavy rains have caused widespread flooding in IDP camps in northwestern Syria, killing a child and damaging or destroying the tents of thousands of families, according to residents and aid workers.
Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets – a volunteer search and rescue group that operates in rebel-controlled areas of Syria – confirmed on Tuesday that a six-year-old boy was killed in the Idlib province after the brick wall. built around his tent collapsed on him.
The group said Abdulrazzak al-Jubasi died shortly after being rescued while on his way to hospital.
Aerial images show one of the hundreds of camps in N. #Syria, which is currently facing a severe rainstorm, causing flooding and powerful torrents. Hundreds of families have been displaced. #WhiteHelmets make every effort to respond and provide assistance to civilians. pic.twitter.com/Ztx342vZgI
– The white helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) January 19, 2021
A total of at least 41,200 people have been affected by the devastating storm, according to humanitarian group Save the Children. White Helmets said his teams had documented damage in 169 camps in Idlib and Aleppo.
In a rebel-held camp in the stronghold, makeshift tents of families displaced by the war lay in muddy puddles after days of rain, an AFP news agency correspondent said.
Abu Qassem said he and his family had struggled for days to keep their tent dry in Maaret Misrin district.
“We’ve been swimming in the water for three days now,” said the father of eight. “The water has seeped into our tents and the women are trying to bail it out.”
Nearby, White Helmets volunteers worked with bulldozers to remove excess mud.
“The camp has become a lake, tents in it,” said Mahmud al-Allawi, another resident. “No words can describe our suffering,” added the 24-year-old.
‘More bad weather to come’
On Sunday, in a camp in the Kafr Uruq region, some residents attempted to sweep mud from the entrance to their tents, the same reporter said.
Thick woolen blankets thrown over some dwellings to keep out the cold were soaked.
The luckiest adults and children wore rubber boots, but others ran through puddles in light athletic clothes, pants rolled up to the knees, and plastic open-toed shoes.
#Syria: Miserable conditions in flooded IDP camps in Idlib and other areas
And more bad weather to come, with snow and temperature forecast dropping to -3 ° Celsius in the coming days pic.twitter.com/ksHBe5rBlP
– Mark Cutts (@MarkCutts) January 19, 2021
Senior UN humanitarian official Mark Cutts described “the miserable conditions in flooded IDP camps in Idlib and other areas”.
“And more bad weather to come, with forecasts of snow and temperatures dropping to -3 degrees Celsius [26.6 degrees Fahrenheit] in the next few days, ”he tweeted on Tuesday.
Save the Children said many are now seeking shelter.
“Tens of thousands of people have dispersed to find shelter from the ongoing storm in schools and mosques,” he said.
“Others were forced to sleep in the open air last night in sub-zero temperatures.”
Idlib is home to around three million people, half of whom have been displaced by the nearly 10-year war from other parts of the country.
Among the displaced are tens of thousands of people who fled a Russian-backed government offensive that ravaged the southern rebel-dominated region last year.