Middle East

Palestinians flee Gaza homes in fear of flooding

A Palestinian family live in what is left of their war-damaged house in the Shijaiyah neighborhood of Gaza City, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

GAZA CITY: Dozens of Palestinian families have fled their homes in parts of Gaza City which face a threat of flooding amid the cold snap that hit the Palestine a day earlier.

Residents of Al-Nafaq district began vacating their homes Tuesday evening after local authorities released a warning that the area is in danger of being flooded with rainwater and sewage as Gaza braces for a snowstorm dubbed "Huda."

The local authority had said that the anticipated cold spell could cause a "humanitarian disaster" as the city's partially destroyed infrastructure may not withstand flooding from heavy rain.

"Hundreds of Palestinians' houses in Gaza City are at risk of flooding in areas where infrastructure has been most damaged," the authority said.

Already underdeveloped as a result of Israel's seven-year blockade, Gaza's infrastructure sustained further damage during Israel's 51-day offensive in July and August.

In December of 2013, thousands of Gazan families were displaced when a severe cold snap and torrential rainfall flooded entire neighborhoods, including Al-Nafaq.

Over 2,160 Palestinians were killed - and some 11,000 injured - during Israel's seven-week military onslaught this summer, which caused Gaza an estimated $5 billion in economic losses, according to Palestinian government figures.

 

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