Blizzard Damages Hundreds of Refugee Tents in Syria

A blizzard hit areas in northwestern Syria, damaging hundreds of refugee tents. According to reports, one of the refugee children died after being crushed by the roof of a collapsed tent.

A blizzard
A blizzard destroys a Syrian refugee's tent. (Special Report)

ACTNews, SYRIA – Heavy snowfall affected northwest Syria on 18 January, damaging displacement sites, tents, and people’s belongings. According to preliminary reports, Blizzard affected 22 areas in Aleppo Governorate (mainly Afrin and Azaz districts) and nine places in Idlib Governorate (mainly Harim District).

Based on a report on 19 January, the snowfall damaged 362 tents and affected 2,124 individuals (429 families). Abraz Camp in Ma’btali subdistrict in Afrin was affected, and families were evacuated to a safer shelter, including the camp’s administrative building, a nearby school, and Abraz village.

A child has been reportedly killed in the Qastal Miqdad area due to the collapse of a tent roof from the accumulation of snow. The mother is in intensive care. The cold weather resulted in a severe drop in body temperature in two children in camps in the Bulbul area. Both are receiving hospital treatment in Afrin.

Blizzards also make temperatures low. Some children in Afrin are hypothermic and require immediate treatment.

As a result of the storm, many of the main roads leading to the camp area, particularly in Afrin, were covered in heavy snow and difficult to navigate. It also makes it more difficult for Syrian authorities to relocate refugees to safer locations.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the direst needs for refugees are heating equipment, replacement tents s, ready-to-eat meals, and winter clothing.

Meanwhile, snowfall will continue in some areas of Syria, according to weather forecasts. Aside from snowstorms, another disaster that threatens Syrian refugees is flooding caused by melting snow. []