A STORM that battered Lebanon for five days has left an eight-year-old Syrian girl dead, flooded neighbourhoods and paralysed major mountain roads.

Residents in some Beirut neighbourhoods awoke to find their cars immersed in water as rivers overflowed.

“All those who were affected by the storm will be compensated,” Higher Relief Committee chief Mohammad Kheir confirmed.

The storm, dubbed Norma, began on Saturday.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said in a statement that some 11,000 Syrian refugees in 151 settlements were affected by the storm. It added that some 70,000 Syrian refugees are at risk.

In the eastern Bekaa Valley, home to tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, many had their tents flooded with water and mud adding to their misery. Others had their tents covered with snow as temperatures dropped.

Meanwhile, a Saudi woman will be assessed for settlement by Australia after the UN deemed her a refugee.

The Department of Home Affairs confirmed that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had referred 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun (left) to Australia for consideration for refugee settlement.

Alqunun arrived in Bangkok on a flight from Kuwait on Saturday and planned to continue to Australia, for which she held a tourist visa.

But after being detained by Thai authorities, she refused to board a flight back to Kuwait, barricading herself in a hotel room.

After publicising her case via social media, saying she feared for her safety if made to return home to her “abusive” family, she was placed in the care of UNHCR workers as her bid for refugee status was considered.

Health minister Greg Hunt had said Australia would consider giving Alqunun a humanitarian visa if the UNHCR process found her to be a refugee.

In Israel, a former government minister charged with spying for Iran is to serve 11 years in jail as part of a plea bargain with authorities.

The justice ministry said Gonen Segev agreed to the deal after confessing to severe espionage and passing information about the “energy market and security sites in Israel” to an enemy.

The plea bargain will be brought to a judge next month.

The announcement capped another stunning turn of events for Segev, who served as energy minister in the mid-1990s and was later imprisoned for trying to smuggle 32,000 illegal Ecstasy tablets into the country.

Segev’s lawyers said they were still prohibited from discussing the full details of the case but that the plea bargain removed the initial charge of treason and brought the affair back to its proper proportions.