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occupied Palestinian territory: Floods - Jan 2010

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From the late night of 18 January 2010 and the following 24 hours, torrential rains hit the Gaza Strip and Almughraqa, causing heavy floods in huge parts of this densely populated and poor area. The situation has been worsened by the flooding of water from the green line area which borders the Gaza Valley. As a result, the Wadi Gaza, a low lying farming area situated to the south of Gaza City and mostly inhabited by Bedouins, was severely affected for an area of an approximate distance of 1,000 meters on both sides, until the Sea of Gaza. The ground was not able to absorb the huge mass of water, which washed away sand, dust, and garbage filling the ground floors of the homes with contaminated dirty water, mud and garbage. Among the worst hit areas was where the poorest of the poor people in the Gaza Strip were located, living in their simple shelters and houses. (IFRC, 27 Jan 2010)

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) declared a state of emergency on 18 Jan 2010 because of the severe weather conditions that caused floods and resulted in significant damages in the Gaza Valley. Since the first moment of the flooding, and through its operations room, the PRCS dispatched its teams and volunteers to the flooded area to evacuate dozens of affected residents and to search for the missing ones. In addition to the natural disaster, Israel worsened the situation by opening a dam located in the Green Line which borders the Gaza Valley. (PRCS, 20 January 2010)