Iran

Caspian flood "unprecedented" says Iranian provincial head

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Teheran (dpa) - The recent flood in Iran's northern Caspian Sea province of Mazandaran was devastating and unprecedented, Iranian media Thursday quoted a regional leader as saying.

''The devastating flood that hit the town of Neka last Sunday is unprecedented in the history of over 1,000 years,'' said provincial governor Davud Keshavarsian. People in the nearby village of Toqeh saw all their possessions swept away, he said.

Neka, Sari, Behshahr and 59 villages were hit in the flooding, which latest reports said left 34 dead, another 20 missing and feared dead, and 95 injured in hospital.

Tuesday was declared a day of public mourning in the region, and Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sent a message of condolence to the victims' families.

Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mussavi-Lari said the government would grant two million rials (6,600 dollars) to each victim whose home was either damaged or destroyed or who had lost a family member.

The ministry would also provide over ten million rials (33,000 dollars) in loans for repairing or rebuilding homes. The ministry also appealed for donations and aid for the flood victims.

The flood-prone region had already seen two people killed last in the northeastern province of Khorassan, where five residential complexes were also destroyed and 40 damaged.

A heavy flood last summer killed 32 people and injured 45 in the northern Caspian Sea town of Massuleh, and a mudslide last year buried the mountain village of Abkal-Ladad in the central province of Chahar-Mahal Bakhtiari where all 50 residents were killed.

dpa fm

Copyright (c) 1999 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 07/29/1999 06:12:45

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