OCHA Situation Report No. 1
Iran - Flash Floods
14 January 2002
This report is based on information provided by the UN Resident Coordinator's Office in Iran.
1. On 11 January 2002, flash floods triggered by torrential rains affected several urban and rural areas in Bushehr, Khouzistan, Fars, Kerman and other southern provinces of Iran. The amount of rainfall in Bushehr is the highest in 28 years.
2. They caused huge financial damages, as well as loss of lives. The media has reported some seven people killed. The suburbs of Bushehr and Shiraz, the capital cities of Bushehr and Fars provinces respectively, are completely inundated and water supply of Bushehr city has been cut since Friday evening 11 January.
3. The extent of damage to houses, agriculture and infrastructure in many urban and rural areas, which are surrounded by water, is still unknown. The floods have washed away roads and brought down power lines in these provinces, disrupting traffic between Bushehr, Kazeroun, Shiraz and Isfahan. Although premature, initial estimates indicate that 30 villages in Bushehr, 59 villages in Khouzistan and 11villages in Fars province are also affected.
4. The Disaster Task Force of the Ministry of Interior had issued a warning before the occurrence of the floods, requesting people to stay away from floods prone areas.
5. To date, the Government of Iran has not made any request for international assistance. The UNDP disaster focal point is in close contact with the Disaster Task Force of the Ministry of Interior to obtain and update information on the damages and also to seek governmental views regarding the need for international assistance. If the situation deteriorates further, a field assessment team will be dispatched to the affected areas to assess the extent of damage and verify the information.
6. The emergency search and rescue operation began with helicopters and other equipment immediately, and the Government relief workers including disciplinary forces, Red Crescent Society, and medical teams started operations. The Government is distributing immediate relief items, including food, medicine and blanket, to the affected people. Temporary settlement of affected people is still ongoing.
7. The provincial authorities, with the support of the Disaster Task Force of the Ministry of Interior, are coping with the immediate emergency by drawing upon all locally available resources. They are monitoring the situation closely and, if needed, will deploy additional resources from neighboring areas.
8. Flooding has been a rare occurrence in most areas of Iran, which are suffering from extreme drought for the fourth consecutive year. As the soil is exposed to erodable forces and the capacity of the soil to absorb rainfall is significantly reduced, more frequent floods are expected in the future as a result.
9. OCHA remains in contact with the UN Resident Coordinator's Office in Iran, and will revert with further information when available.
10. This situation report, together with information on other ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int
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In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10
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Direct Tel. +41-22-917 17 12/ 3194/1768
(in GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(in N.Y.) Ms. Ms. Phyllis Lee, direct Tel. +1-212-963 48 32
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