Um El-Naser Environmental Disaster Victims Increase to Five

The victims who were killed in yesterday’s environmental disaster in Um El-Naser (Bedouin) village increased to five after rescue crews recovered the body of Fatima Habban Abu Safra (70) yesterday afternoon. The body was found under the rubble of her house that was flooded by sewage water. It is noted that earth barriers around a sewage pool that was constructed last September broke and flooded the village. The pool was constructed by a joint council of municipalities in the northern Gaza Strip.

Rescue teams recovered four bodies in earlier rescue operations. All of them were drowned by the sewage flood. Accordingly, Medical sources in Kamal Odwan Hospital in Beit Lahia, Shifa Hospital in Gaza, and the Medical Emergency Relief clinic in the village informed PCHR that they have thus far received the bodies of dead victims, all of them residents of the Bedouin village: Nasra Nuseir Salem Ermeilat (70); Suheir Salab Abu Ghrara (17); - Mohammad Salem Masek Abu Atieq (1); Jamal Barak Abu Safra (3); and Fatima Habban Abu Safra (70).

It is noted that bulldozers and heavy machinery of the municipalities of the northern Gaza Strip and of Gaza City are continuing work to remove debris from the village. PCHR’s fieldworker indicated that 78 houses in the village have been rendered uninhabitable and destroyed. Hundreds of other houses also suffered serious damage.

UNRWA and the ICRC have established an emergency shelter for the uprooted families. Three hundred tents were erected at a distance of about 100 meters north of the village. The tents were furnished with basic necessities, food, and drinking water. Medical crews from governmental and non-governmental organizations continue to provide medical care to victims at the emergency shelter.

Related Links

  • Environmental disaster in Gaza, Sewage basin collapses, PCHR (27 March 2007)