Distressing moment TV reporter hears trapped families screaming for help in bushfires

Live TV footage shows the distressing moment a reporter breaks down in tears as she described hearing screams from burning homes engulfed by Lebanon’s wildfires.

Correspondent for Lebanese TV station Al-Jadeed Halima Tabiaa was reporting live from Damour, south of Beirut, as a wall of flames could be seen ripping through villages on Tuesday.

Trying desperately to hold back tears, Tabiaa reveals how she can hear people screaming for help inside their homes but no one could reach them.

Halima Tabiaa holds back tears as she reports live from the fires. Source: Al-Jadeed

The camera pans around the burning countryside as Tabiaa continues her emotional live-cross.

Footage of Tabiaa has since gone viral on social media with many praising the reporter for her courageous reporting.

A heatwave in the region coupled with strong winds intensified the fires that began a day earlier in mostly pine forests around the country and three provinces in neighbouring Syria.

The blazes are the worst to hit the nation in decades.

According to Al Jazeera, one man has died of suffocation from battling the fires in Aley and a woman had reportedly been run over by a fire truck in Sidon.

People inspect the remains of cars and shops that were burned in Damour. Source: AP
Lebanese firemen rest outside a building that was burned in the bushfires. Source: AP

Fire crews were overwhelmed by the flames in the Mount Lebanon region early Tuesday, forcing the Interior Ministry to send riot police with engines equipped with water cannons to help.

Two small aircraft were sent from the nearby Mediterranean island of Cyprus to help put out the flames.

"Your planes are now fighting fires in Lebanon as we speak here," Lebanon's Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab said during a visit to Cyprus.

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri said if the fires turn out to be intentional those behind it "will pay a price." Hariri added that an investigation will be opened to know what caused the fires.

Fire takes out forests in the mountainous area that flank Damour river near the village of Meshref in Lebanon. Source: Getty

The state has been widely criticised by residents because Lebanon bought three aircraft several years ago to be used in extinguishing fires but they have been parked at Beirut's airport with no money to maintain them.

Interior Minister Raya El Hassan said Greece would send two aircraft in response to a request from Lebanon, adding that Jordan has also expressed readiness to send assistance to Beirut.

In neighbouring Syria, fires spread in the coastal provinces of Latakia and Tartus, as well as the central province of Homs, but authorities there brought all the fires under control.

With AP

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play and stay up to date with the latest news with Yahoo’s daily newsletter. Sign up here.