News / Middle East

Thousands Evacuated from Gaza After Flooding

Palestinian rescue members help residents evacuate from a flooded area following heavy rains in Gaza City, Dec. 13, 2013.
Palestinian rescue members help residents evacuate from a flooded area following heavy rains in Gaza City, Dec. 13, 2013.
Reuters
More than 4,000 people have been evacuated from flood-damaged homes in northern Gaza in what the United Nations has called “a disaster area”, officials said on Saturday.

Flooding has been so severe that access to many homes is by rowing boat and water is reported to be two meters (more than six feet) high in some places. Many people have been trapped inside inundated homes by rising waters.

The flooding is the result of four days of torrential rains.

“Large swathes of northern Gaza are a disaster area with water as far as the eye can see,” the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) that administers refugee camps in the Palestinian territory, said in a statement.

The Gaza health ministry said 100 people had suffered injuries in the severe weather, which damaged poorly built homes in the coastal territory, including from car accidents on flooded roads, and items falling from inundated buildings.

Chris Gunness, an UNRWA spokesman, said areas near a refugee camp in northern Gaza “have become a massive lake with two-meter-high waters engulfing homes and stranding thousands.”

Thousands of agency workers were evacuating stranded Palestinians to U.N. shelters, Gunness said.

Gaza's Hamas government said 4,306 in all had been evacuated to schools and other centers used as makeshift shelters in the past four days.

Gaza's 1.8 million people has also been enduring around 12-hour blackouts daily since the lone power plant was switched off last month due to a fuel shortage.

One of the most densely populated tracts on earth, Gaza is home to mostly impoverished refugees and their descendants.

The territory lacks much basic civil infrastructure and lives under an Egyptian-Israeli blockade meant to cut off arms flows, but which also curbs imports of fuel, building supplies and basic goods.

Israel opened a main crossing with Gaza on Friday to allow in fuel supplies and four water pumps to help relieve flood damage.

Gaza's prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, urged the Arab League on Saturday to take steps to end the blockades of his territory, a statement from his office said.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Popsiq from: Buganda
December 14, 2013 11:31 PM
The title should read "Thousands Evacuated IN Gaza".

Nobody is being removed from the crowded enclave, they're just being moved to other areas that aren't flooded. Which would mean into the war-damaged areas of the south and east.
According to reports, additional amounts of diesel fuel and 4 water pumps have been allowed into the enclave to assist with the emergency. The amount off ffuel is not specified but until recently that commodirty was still bbeing smugggled in from Egypt as the ''rationed amount" wasn't enough to run the sewage treatment plant which has been overflowing for almost two weeks.

On the bright side, the flooding might thin out the sewage contamination.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid