War damage inflicted by Hizbullah estimated

Translation by Adib S Kawar

(28 August 2006) - Yediot Aharanot, the Israeli Zionist daily, wrote August 27th that a report of the Ministry of Environment said that about 12,000 buildings among which 10 were governmental were damaged during the war on Lebanon. The added that removal of rubble according to the prime minister's office shall take a very long time to clear.

The report also said that about 2,000 buildings or housing units were totally damaged. It also said that some time one rocket caused damaged to a big number of buildings.

About 400 fires broke out in open areas during the war as a result of fallen rockets, thus fire burnt not less than 12,000 dunums of forests, 7,000 dunums of these forests were in the vicinity of Kiryat Shmona, while 2,000 dunums of forests were in Safad area.

In addition to forests about 5,000 dunums of natural reserves in the Golan Heights were burnt, in addition to 9,000 dunums in the Upper Galilee. Other fires broke in 500 dunums in the lower Galilee. Israeli reports estimated that it shall take approximately sixty years to restore burn forests in which about a million trees were burnt. The report pointed out to the environmental danger caused as a result of destroyed about 20,000 square meters of houses made of asbestos, the losses could be more.

Burnt asbestos resulted in polluting the environment (sic., this after Israeli air attacks on a Lebanese oil refinery created the worst marine pollution hazard since the Exxon Valdez spill in Prince William Sound off the Alaskan coast in 1989 - Shunpiking ed. note) while the destruction of drainage pipes resulted in polluting the sea. But what worries the Ministry of Environment is how to get rid of the debris of destroyed buildings, the volume of which is estimated between 100 to 700 thousand tonnes.

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