Torrential rains flood displaced camps in northern Syria

Torrential rains have washed away hundreds of tents in camps sheltering displaced Syrians in the north of the country, aid groups have said, as residents pleaded for help, AFP reported Friday (December 28th).

On Wednesday "hundreds of tents were washed away in Atme, Dana, Sarmada and Qah in the northern countryside of Idlib", the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations said in a Thursday statement.

"Many shelters, food and water stocks were ruined by flooding," it said.

In the Omar camp in Atme, near the Turkish border, two days of heavy rains flooded flimsy plastic tents and turned nearby fields into pools of mud.

Residents said the deluge destroyed their few belongings, including bedding, leaving them with nothing as temperatures plunged below zero.

"My tent has been flooded and the waters have carried away the mattresses and the carpets we used to sleep on," said Umm Adi, a widow and mother of four, who had sought refuge from the seven-year conflict in Omar camp.

"Everything was lost in the floods. We have nothing left."

Tens of thousands of displaced Syrians in the north of the country depend on handouts from humanitarian aid groups to survive the winter climate.

The Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations urged the international community and aid agencies "to release emergency funding" for those stricken by the floods.

It said rescuers were trying to assess the needs of the displaced and provide those affected by the bad weather with food aid.

Displaced Syrians in the north whose camps have been flooded are in need of "adequate shelter, heating, clothing, water and food", it added.

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