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www.wmfd.com - Massive flooding from storms has forced tens of thousands of people from their homes in Gaza. }}" />

   
 
 
Major Floods In Gaza Displace Thousands, Destroy Homes

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 12/17/2013

Massive flooding from storms has forced tens of thousands of people from their homes in Gaza. It's also threatening farmers' precious crops. But there may be a little relief. Qatar is donating $10-million to help resuscitate Gaza's lone power plant and curb frequent power outages. CNN's Sara Sidner has more. In a place already blighted and bleak from years of war and a lack of resources, a winter storm is pushing people to the brink. In some of the tightly-woven neighborhoods, several days of torrential rain have created rivers where there should be roads. The Hamas government says more than 5,000 people have been forced from their homes in northern Gaza. Um Iyad and her six children fled to an overcrowded shelter, they had no choice but to abandon the room they all slept in and leave behind everything they had. She says they came here because her house was destroyed. "The roof fell in and water soaked the mattresses and blankets," she says. There was no way to salvage things and dry out. The lone power plant was shut off last month, causing 12 hour blackouts, due to a fuel shortage. On a tour of the destruction brought by the winter storm, a Hamas minister gets an earful, as he approaches a farmer. "I might freeze to death," he yells. The farmer is distraught because the storm has flooded his fields and frozen his crops, which means he will suffer a long difficult year, not just a hard winter. He says he's totally ruined, there's nothing left, not the greenhouse, nor his fields of peas, carrots, cucumber, potatoes, it's all completely destroyed. Here the blame game is an endless stream of slight Hamas lay at Israel's feet, but the blame goes both ways. An Israeli-Egyptian blockade, that Israel says is in place to curb the flow of weapons into Gaza, is also slowing down the import of things such as fuel and building supplies. On Friday, Israel opened the main crossing to allow in fuel and water pumps to help alleviate the flooding, but it may be too late. According to the United Nations agency there, the damage from the flood has created disaster zones in parts of Gaza, in a place that is always lacking, more help can't come soon enough.

   
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