Occupied Palestinian territory: Cold Wave January 2015 Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) update n° 1; DREF n° MDRPS010


Summary of major revisions made to emergency plan of action:

A second cold wave has hit the Occupied Palestinian Territory from the 19th to the 22nd of February affecting several areas, particularly Bedouins communities and Gaza strip, already experiencing very dramatic living conditions since the conflict last summer. To this end the PRCS team undertook an emergency relief operation based on need assessment for additional 350 families (2,253 people). Details are explained below. Outcomes and budget have been revised accordingly.

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

An exceptional winter storm, named Huda, started sweeping across the West Bank and Gaza on 6 January 2015, bringing heavy snow, rainfall, high winds and freezing temperature that lasted for 5 days.

The storm generated flooding in several areas in Palestine and the temporary displacement of thousands of people. These extreme weather conditions have also caused the death of three children and a man. Situation particularly affected Gaza strip where thousands of people remain displaced due the heavily house destruction during the recent conflict. For the first time in the Gaza Strip, the temperature approached zero at night at a time there are no abilities to operate the heating systems as electricity was provided for only six hours and sometimes less. Furthermore, gas stations in the Strip had no fuel to provide for the people to operate their own generators and the cooking gas stations were empty as well.

After the ceasefire still around 100,000 people remained displaced, hosted in UNRWA shelters and schools, government schools and families. 18,000 homes were destroyed and severely damaged and it is estimated that around 100,000 people will not be able to return to their homes in the near future.