Iran braces for more heavy rain following deadly flash floods

Iran braces for more heavy rain following deadly flash floods
Since heavy rain began on March 12, dozens have died and 25,000 have been put in emergency accommodation.
2 min read
01 April, 2019
An aerial view of flood-hit areas in Golestan Province on March 21, 2019 [Anadolu/Getty]
New emergency alerts have been issued by Iranian authorities as heavy rain on Monday continues to cause extreme and deadly flooding across Iran, state-run broadcaster PressTV reported.

Floods and torrential rain have affected 23 of the Iran's 31 provinces since heavy rain began on 19 March. Flooding is expected to hit nine provinces on Monday.

The Islamic Republic has been struggling to deal with the extreme flooding with heavy rainfall has at times equaled half of the average annual levels within 24 hours.

The official death toll reached 44 on Thursday and more than 25,000 had to be put up in emergency accommodation, according to the Iranian Red Crescent Society.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is releasing emergency funds to Iran for lifesaving medicines and supplies, the body's representative to Iran announced on Twitter on Monday.

As a new storm moves into western Iran, strong rain and powerful wind are expected on Monday and Tuesday.

A video on Twitter shows extreme flooding destroying houses in Pol-e Dokhtar, a city in western Lorestan province. Residents woke to flood alarms urging them to evacuate the city as raised water levels in the cities three rivers led to flash floods.

Iran's Meteorological Organisation (IMRO) told eleven provinces to prepare for heavy flooding. In the capital Tehran, residents in 20 districts received emergency text messages advising them to stay inside on Monday, according to PressTV.

President Hassan Rouhani travelled to flood-hit areas of Iran on Wednesday. 

Such a widespread flood threat is unprecedented in arid Iran, which until 2018 was dealing with decades of drought.

"Climate change is forcing itself on our country," said Energy Minister Reza Ardekanian, who is in charge of dams and water supply.

"These unprecedented floods in our country are because of climate change worldwide," he said according to the Tasnim news agency.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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