Iran - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 2

Situation Report
Originally published
Ref. OCHA/GVA - 99/0096
Iran - Floods
OCHA Situation Report No. 2
29 July 1999


1. Following the heavy floods of 25 and 26 July 1999 in Mazandaran Province, the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Tehran dispatched a field assessment mission to the impacted area on Wednesday, 29 July. The team met with national and provincial authorities, as well as the affected population to assess the damage and the ongoing relief operation.

2. The assessment team confirms the serious extent of the damage. Floods as high as 2.5 meters above the street level have destroyed all buildings and facilities adjacent to the Neka River which flows down from Hezar Jarib watershed through a number of villages and the city of Neka to the Caspian Sea. It has to be noted that the area had been affected by a serious drought this year. The economy is mainly based on agriculture and, after the drought, the floods will lead to major economic hardship.

3. According to the Disaster Task Force, 34 people were killed, with 17 persons missing. Over 1,000 hectares of forest and 3,600 hectares of rice, tobacco, sunflower and cotton have been severely damaged. 4,010 houses and shops have been damaged (between 50 to 100 %). A total of 30 schools, government offices and mosques are destroyed and a cement factory has been damaged. 300 irrigation wells, 20 animal farming units, 50 water mills, and 5 tobacco drying units are destroyed. 33 kilometres of railroad and 400 kilometres of roads sustained heavy damage. 57 bridges, including the major Neka bridge on the main Tehran - Gorgan road, are destroyed. 5 kilometres of power line have been washed away.

National Response

4. The relief operation is effective. The Minister of Interior visited the area on 28 July 1999. The Disaster Task Force is coordinating the efforts of concerned national agencies.

5. The Red Crescent Society of Iran is providing relief items, including food and blankets to the affected population. The Mazandaran Red Crescent Society has called on 11 other provinces to provide assistance. Disciplinary Forces are helping with distribution of relief items, security and traffic issues. Some of the victims have been accommodated in schools and mosques; others live with families in the region. Cities are being cleared from mud and debris which were brought by the rivers. Medical teams are spraying the areas damaged by floods.

6. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has stated that it would accept voluntary international humanitarian assistance to support the victims of the disaster. The preferred modality of assistance is cash contributions as most items can be purchased locally.


7. The assessment team reported that, among others, drainage pumps, mud removers, ambulances, water tankers, chain saws, blankets, floor mattresses, tents, as well as household utensils are needed.

International Response

8. On 29 July a United Nations Disaster Management Team (UN DMT) meeting was held in Tehran to review the situation. The UN DMT decided to provide the following assistance:

WHO USD 10,000 for the purchase of medical items (to be further increased, if needed)
UNHCR plastic sheeting and tents, valued at USD 40,000
UNDP USD 50,000 in cash
FAO has already allocated USD 400,000 towards relief activities in response to the drought and is considering to use its contribution partially for the flood emergency.

9. OCHA has allocated an Emergency Cash Grant of USD 20,000, and another emergency grant of USD 20,000 from funds held in reserve by OCHA on behalf of the Norwegian Government, to be used for the local purchase of urgently needed relief items.

10. OCHA is in close contact with the UN Resident Coordinator's Office in Tehran to monitor the development of the situation.

11. 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: +41-22-9187 00 23

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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