"The Sidon municipality has announced a state of environmental emergency and is taking necessary measures to limit sea pollution," it said.

Environmental experts have long warned of public health hazards associated with the Sidon dump. The mountain of waste has partially collapsed into the Mediterranean on at least two occasions in the past.

It was the second severe snowstorm to hit the region in three weeks, marking a particularly harsh winter in the usually temperate Mediterranean region. The snowstorm also hit Israel and the Palestinian territories, covering Jerusalem’s holy shrines in white.

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