Iran - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 1

Situation Report
Originally published
Ref. OCHA/GVA - 99/0095
Iran - Floods
OCHA Situation Report No. 1
27 July 1999

General Situation

1. The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Tehran reports that heavy rains caused flooding in the cities of Sari (Provincial capital), Behshahr and Neka, and in 42 villages in Mazandaran Province in northern Iran on 25 July. According to the National Disaster Task Force of the Ministry of Interior, 23 people have lost their lives, 250 persons have been injured, and one third of Neka has been inundated, with over 2,000 houses damaged. Rain stopped on 26 July.

2. Initial reports show that the floods have been the worst of the century and the actual damage is thought to be substantial. The Tehran-Gorgan railroad is cut betweeen Neka and Sari. The Gorgan-Sari main road and a number of local roads are impassable. The damage to agriculture has been considerable, with thousands of hectares of rice fields flooded with mud. In Neka, where the damage has been highest, water, power, phone and gas services have been interrupted although power and water services have now been reconnected.

3. The Department of Environment of Mazandaran Province attributed the unprecedented floods to the heavy deforestation of the Caspian forests and the consequent damage to the eco-system balance. The affected area is located in the Mazandaran plains between the Elborz Mountain range and the Caspian Sea. It is a densely populated, rice producing area, which has been suffering from a serious drought this year.

National Response

4. Relief operation has begun under the coordination of the province Disaster Task Force. The Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran is providing tents, blankets, and food to the affected population. Disciplinary Forces in the area are assisting in the relief operation. Three helicopters and 200 vehicles have been deployed in the relief operation. Imam Relief Committee of Mazandaran, a major relief organization, has asked the people of the province to provide assistance. The Government has not issued an appeal.

5. OCHA is in close contact with the UN Resident Coordinator's Office in Tehran, in order to monitor further developments.

6. This situation report and further information on ongoing emergencies are also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Telephone number: +41-22-917 12 34
In case of emergency: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers: Ms. S. Metzner-Strack/Mr. R. Mueller/Ms. M. Kondo,
OCHA Disaster Response Branch, direct Tel. +41-22-917-2144 / 3131 / 1997

Press contact: Ms. E. Ponomareva, direct Tel. +41-22-917 23 36

Telex: 414242 OCHA CH
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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