Two people have died and over 5,000 people have been evacuated from flood-damaged homes in northern Gaza in what the United Nations has called “a disaster area”.
According to Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, the rainfall led to a lot of excess water which couldn’t drain away, so “the Israeli authorities resorted to discharging the excess water into the Gaza Strip.”
Rafah City Mayor Issa Nashar confirmed the incident on Sunday, saying, “Israel has indeed opened the dam which led to drowning the neighbouring areas with accumulated rain water up to 1 metre deep.”
This incident came after an unprecedented storm, called Alexa by meteorologists, hit the Middle East causing a humanitarian disaster in the region’s most vulnerable areas. In the Gaza Strip, at least one person is reported to have died as a result of the freak weather conditions and nearly 5,000 are taking shelter in community facilities while their homes are uninhabitable.
Fuel shortages have caused daily life in the Gaza Strip for its 1.8 million residents to grind slowly to a halt since early November, as power plants and water pumps were forced to shut down, cutting off access to basic necessities and causing sewage to flood into some of the city’s streets.