Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Neglect in Gaza Causes Flood of Sewage; 4 Killed

At least 4 people were killed today in the northern Gaza Strip and more than 30 injured when a sewage system collapsed, flooding a village with waste water, according to the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees.

The agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which helps Palestinian refugees and their families, posted photographs on its Web site showing Palestinians wading through the muck, and waters rising about half way up structures in the area known as Um al-Nasr.

The local Palestinian news agency, Wafa, reported that at least nine people were killed and scores wounded. Hundreds of houses were flooded or damaged, the U.N. agency and Wafa said.
“The waters destroyed houses, tents, shelters, everything in its way,” Musa Jaber, a 28 year-old Palestine refugee and father of five, told the U.N. agency. “It was very high, more than a meter. And horrifying! Women and children were screaming at the top of their lungs for help.”

The U.N. agency estimated that between 3,000 and 6,000 inhabitants would evacuate as the flood waters spread to outlying areas. The agency dispatched staff to the area, as well as water and food supplies. Bulldozers were sent to create earth barriers. [USUALLY BULLDOZERS IN GAZA ARE KNOCKING DOWN HOUSES OR PEOPLE]

Village children clung to wooden doors floating on the putrid waters and rescuers paddled through the village in makeshift boats in search of victims, Agence France-Presse reported. It said Palestinian television called the flood a “sewage tsunami.”

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