The lives of 70,000 Syrian refugees in makeshift camps across Lebanon are at risk as the country faces extreme weather conditions and flooding, the United Nations' refugee protection agency has said.
A heavy storm with colder temperatures and high winds, dubbed Norma by Lebanese meteorologists, has affected some 11,301 refugees at 361 different sites across Lebanon since on January 6.
"These exceptional weather conditions are making the living situation of Syrian refugees even more precarious," said Philippe Lazzarini, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator for Lebanon, on Thursday.
According to the UN, 40,000 of those at risk are children. They live across 850 sites that may also be hit by storms in the next few days.
UN agencies have been trying to provide emergency aid to the worst affected areas. In Beirut and the Mount Lebanon region, some refugee camps have collapsed under the heavy snow, while others suffered from flooding or heavy water leakages.
In Arsal, refugees are running out of food and some settlements at high altitudes are particularly difficult to reach, said the UN. Refugees there are asking for fuel for heating, good quality plastic sheeting and insulation kits.