News / World

Flooding in Gaza overwhelms battered infrastructure

A Palestinian man walks out of his flooded makeshift house during a heavy rain storm in Jabaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

A Palestinian man walks out of his flooded makeshift house during a heavy rain storm in Jabaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

GAZA, Palestinian Territory — Heavy rains have caused flooding across the Gaza Strip, overwhelming the territory's beleaguered sewage system and forcing at least eight families to evacuate from their makeshift homes.

Basma al-Bishawi said some residents used buckets to try to bail water from their homes "in vain" on Thursday, and that he pulled his own son from a river of sewage.

Rescuers could be seen evacuating people on small boats, while other residents waded through knee-high water to reach safety.

Israel and Egypt imposed a blockade on the Palestinian territory after the Islamic militant group Hamas seized power there in 2007. The restrictions, and three wars between Israel and Hamas, have taken a heavy toll on Gaza's infrastructure.