A Wind Storm Strikes Northwestern Syria, Leaving Death and Destruction in Its Wake
A new storm has resulted in the death of a child and a man, as well as injuries to six civilians, including three children. The storm has demolished the tents of the displaced, increasing the suffering of those already afflicted by the earthquake.
On Wednesday, March 29, a new air storm accompanied by light to moderate rains hit northwestern Syria, resulting in two deaths and injuries among civilians living in the affected camps, as well as material damage in more than 15 camps.
In the Hawija camp in the village of Batenta, north of Idlib, a girl died when a wall collapsed on her, while a man died in a similar accident in the village of Korin, south of Idlib. A man was also injured when a wall collapsed in the town of Muhambel, west of Idlib, and a woman was injured by strong winds that uprooted a nearby tent and hit her with its iron pillars.
Our teams responded to the storm and assessed the damage to more than 320 tents in 15 camps for displaced persons affected by the earthquake, with more than 120 tents completely uprooted and others partially damaged in Idlib, as well as in the villages of al-Jinah, al-Tawama, and the city of Darat Izza in the western countryside of Aleppo.
We evacuated a number of families from the "Al-Fida 1" camp for displaced persons, west of the city of Idlib, to the Marrteen village school in the countryside of Idlib, after the storm uprooted more than 30 tents in which they lived.
The effects of the storm were not limited to displacement camps and shelters for earthquake survivors but also extended to most cities and towns in northwestern Syria, resulting in the collapse of several walls in buildings that were damaged by the earthquake, old buildings, and buildings that were bombed by regime forces and Russia during the past years of the war.
The damage from the storm also included agricultural lands, with winds uprooting a number of trees in fields and agricultural lands near the roads, and significant damage to a solar energy system in the village of Korin, south of Idlib.
The storm began at around twelve o'clock noon on Wednesday, with above-average wind speeds that gradually intensified, reaching its peak after four o'clock in the afternoon.
Our teams responded to the storm by taking the injured to hospitals for treatment, helping evacuate those who lost their tents, reinstalling the damaged tents, removing the rubble resulting from the demolition of a number of walls, and securing the crumbling walls.
Northwestern Syria has experienced several winter storms, including rain, snow, and wind storms. The most recent storm occurred on March 18, damaging more than 650 tents in 40 camps for displaced persons and temporary shelters for those affected by the earthquake. The storm resulted in a child being slightly injured, collapsed shops, and a number of roads being cut off in cities and towns.
At the beginning of March, an air storm hit northwestern Syria, leading to the death of a man and injuring two others in the city of Idlib when four walls that were damaged by the earthquake collapsed. The storm also caused damage to displacement camps and shelters for those affected by the earthquake.
The recent effects of the storms highlight the continuing tragic reality of the camps in NW Syria due to the absence of effective solutions to the reality of the displaced. The devastating earthquake exacerbated the suffering of civilians, with more than 40,000 families forced to live in shelter camps after losing their homes. Syrians have lived in difficult humanitarian conditions for 12 years, and the international community has disregarded the solution to their tragedy represented by their right to a safe return to their cities and towns from which the Assad regime and Russia displaced them.