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Palestinians flee Gaza homes in fear of rain floods

January 7, 2015 at 11:05 am

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

Many residents of Gaza City’s 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 the Gaza Strip braces for a snowstorm dubbed “Huda.”

Gaza City’s local authority had said that the anticipated cold spell could cause a “humanitarian disaster” as the city’s partially-destroyed infrastructure could not withstand rain floods.

“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 of the Palestinian territory, the strip’s rickety 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 the Gaza Strip an estimated $5 billion in economic losses, according to Palestinian government figures.

Images by MEMO Photographer Mohammed Asad.