Middle East

Flooding in Gaza overwhelms battered infrastructure

  • Palestinian rescue members evacuate a woman from her flooded home during a heavy rain storm in Jabaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

    Palestinian rescue members evacuate a woman from her flooded home during a heavy rain storm in Jabaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)  (The Associated Press)

  • 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)  (The Associated Press)

  • Palestinian rescue members evacuate residents from their flooded homes, using a fishing boat during a heavy rain storm in the Jabaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

    Palestinian rescue members evacuate residents from their flooded homes, using a fishing boat during a heavy rain storm in the Jabaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)  (The Associated Press)

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.