On 17 December 2013, the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated, as requested by UNITAR/UNOSAT on behalf of UNOCHA, due to flood and a storm in Gaza Strip. Since 12 December, a winter storm, Alexa, has struck the Middle East causing days of snow and heavy rain. The, reportedly, worst storm of the region in over sixty years, has resulted in flooding in the Gaza Strip that has forced the evacuation of over 5000 people.
Many homes in Gaza were ill-equipped to cope with the almost unprecedented weather, which brought floodwaters to two metres high in some areas. The northern part of the Gaza Strip has been declared a disaster area, where thousands of evacuees' have been moved to schools and emergency shelters and thousands of homes have been inundated or left without power.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image of the snow on December 15. The floods caused by the storm are not visible at this scale, but tan and green plumes of sediment are visible along the Mediterranean Sea coast. Such plumes can be caused by floodings.