Deadly flash floods in Iran claim at least 42 lives
Torrential downpours have caused flash flooding and landslides in more than 40 counties and villages in six provinces of Azerbaijane-Gharbi, Azerbaijane-Sharghi, Kordestan, Zanjan, Mazandaran and Ardebil in Iran’s northwest on Saturday, killing at least 42 people according to National Crisis Management Organization.
Major flooding triggered by heavy rains in these provinces flooded houses and swept away cars after rivers burst their banks. According to the official reports, two counties of Ajabshir and Azarshahr in Azerbaijane-Sharghi province were worst hit.
Mr. Morteza Salimi, Head of Relief and Rescue Organisation of the Iranian Red Crescent announced that 1,860 people have benefited from the relief and rescue services, and 288 people were provided with emergency sheltering following torrential rains and flooding that began on Friday.
Mr. Salimi said that water has been pumped out of 179 residential units and operations for the recovery of 40 trapped cars in floods have been successful in various areas. He said 15 people had also been transferred to safe areas, and seven taken to medical centres to receive due services. "Five people are still missing in the floods," he also added.
Head of Red Crescent Relief and Rescue Organisation pointed out to the use of 80 operational teams including 380 relief workers and rescuers in these operations and stressed, "30 relief tents, 200 blankets, 1,000 tins of canned food, 20 kilograms of date, and 700 bottles of mineral water have been distributed amongst the affected since the last day,".
Iran's Energy Minister and President Representative Hamid Chitchian, Ismail Jabbarzadeh, the general governor of Azerbaijane-Sharghi and Morteza Salimi, visited flood-hit areas of Ajabshir and Azarshahr cities. Hamid Chitchian and Ismail Jabbarzadeh, each in a separate speech praised quick and timely relief and rescue measures of the Iranian Red Crescent in the areas hit by the surging water.
Red Crescent search and rescue operations are still underway in Mazandaran Azerbaijane-Gharbi and Azerbaijane-Sharghi provinces.