vrijdag 13 december 2013
''State of Extreme Emergency in Gaza''
''It is cold, there is no power, and I am charging my computer using a car battery in order to get this message out. It is so cold in Gaza that everyone has cold feet and a cold nose. A new storm is hitting this besieged enclave. There is no electricity, and shortages of water, fuel, and vital services mean people just sit and wait for the unknown.''
''Tens of houses east of Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, in Khan Younes and Rafah are flooded with rain today. The sewage system cannot function and Gaza municipalities announced a state of emergency. Schools and most shops are shut, there is no traffic and few people are walking in the street.
Gaza City’s garbage trucks have been at a standstill due to the ongoing fuel shortage. I’d gotten used to the bright orange truck that usually passes by, sounding its horn, a sign for all my neighbors to bring out their garbage for collection....''
That is what journalist blogger Mohammed Omer of Rafah wrote yesterday on his blog Rafah Today - read the rest of his post here.
Update: Ma'an News adds to this that on Friday that the flooding was worst in the northern Gaza Strip, where hundreds fled their homes and water levels reached 40-50 cm in some parts, forcing residents to use boats to navigate their neighborhoods. The Gaza government said in a statement on Friday that so far 2,825 people have been evacuated from their homes, reaching a total of 458 families. The evacuated were being sheltered in schools across the Strip, the statement was reported by Gaza-based Safa News Agency as saying, as Hamas civil defense authorities rushed to evacuate flooded homes.
Gaza Minister of Health Mufid al-Mukhalalati declared a state of "extreme emergency" as all emergency devices and ambulance crews were put on a state of high alter in all regions of the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories announced Thursday that Israel would open the Kerem Shalom crossing to allow for the transport into Gaza of gas for heating houses and water pumps for coping with floods.