Flooding in Iran leaves 19 people dead

Tue 26 Mar 2019, 13:18:02
Major floods across much of Iran have left 19 people dead and more than 90 injured, blocking roads and triggering landslides. 

Emergency services said on Monday, seventeen people were killed and 94 injured in the southern city of Shiraz, one person died in the western province of Kermanshah and another in Lorestan, also in the west. Such a widespread flood threat is unprecedented in arid Iran, which until 2018 was dealing with decades of drought.

The national emergency has struck in the middle of Iranian New Year holidays, with many relief workers also on vacation.

Many of those killed in Shiraz were holidaymakers caught in the flood as they entered the city in their cars.

With 25 of Iran's 31 provinces experiencing floods or facing imminent threat, the country's National Crisis Management Committee was activated at cabinet level. 

First Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri said on state television that he has ordered all governor-generals, all provincial managers and officials nationwide to stay at their posts throughout the next 72 hours which is the peak of the flood threat. 

President Hassan Rouhani issued a statement expressing condolences to victims' families and thanking emergency services and the military for their responses to the crisis.

Iran's meteorological service has warned of more heavy showers until Wednesday, forecasting as much as 15 centimetres of rainfall in some western provinces in the next 24 hours.

Deputy Interior Minister Mehdi Jamalinejad said, the situation is critical in the provinces of Khuzestan, Lorestan and Kohgiluyeh-Va-Boyerahmad.

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