August 15, 2012 02:41 PM (Last updated: August 15, 2012 04:00 PM)
By Mohammed Zaatari

SIDON, Lebanon: The Lebanese Army and the local fire brigade in Sidon are experiencing difficulty in extinguishing a fire that broke out Wednesday morning in a huge waste dump, shooting fumes and smoke into the air.

The landfill, which has been used as a site for the disposal of waste materials for years, measures approximately 30 meters in height, and reportedly contains about 500,000 bottles.

The Lebanese Army called in helicopters to help extinguish the fire, which was exacerbated by wind interference and the city’s water shortage. Water was not available from a nearby well because the region’s Water Authority had closed it down, citing the water as non-potable.

Sidon residents have long suffered from mounting piles of trash and few options for waste disposal. The garbage crisis intensified in Sidon and its environs when the city’s landfill exceeded its capacity last year.

The fire brigade in Sidon receive dozens of phone calls daily from residents asking for help with fires blazing in waste containers scattered throughout the city.

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(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::