Mercy Corps launched an emergency response over the weekend to help victims of flooding and severe winter weather in Gaza.
A state of emergency has been declared and approximately 10,000 people were forced to evacuate to temporary shelters or relatives' homes. Many more are stranded in damaged homes or displaced without safe coverage from the elements.
We're providing 800 families in the worst affected areas with plastic sheeting for protection from continued rains, warm jackets for children, and supplies including blankets, mattresses, rechargeable lanterns and hygiene kits. We also distributed 400 food packages to families who had not yet received assistance. Scroll through the photos above to see some of the people we've reached.
The winter storm Alexa — one of the worst in recent decades — hit last Wednesday with over four days of heavy rains, strong winds and frigid temperatures. Flooding quickly overtook many parts of the Gaza Strip, washing away possessions, killing livestock and damaging thousands of homes.
Families were already struggling with an acute fuel and energy shortage, which forced the sporadic shutdown of the only main generator and has limited electricity to as little as three hours a day. Waste treatment facilities have been partially non-operational for over a month.
Without a proper storm drainage system or the power to operate pumps, water rose rapidly and spread throughout wide swaths of northern Gaza, including Gaza City. Waste-filled storm water ponds overflowed, sending raw sewage into the flooding.
It will take days for the waters to subside and allow the displaced to return to their homes. Our team will continue assessing needs, including those for clean drinking water and sanitation, and stay in contact with the families we've reached to provide additional assistance.