Iran: Golestan and Fars provinces floods - Flash Update No. 1 (as of 25 March 2019)



  • The northern part of Iran has experienced heavy rains over the past week causing floods, landslides and severe damage to the infrastructure, including roads. These heavy rains in Golestan are unprecedented as 70 per cent of average annual rain fell in the first 24 hours.

  • To date, according to local reports, 31 people have been confirmed dead.

  • In Golestan and Mazandran provinces, 11 people were confirmed dead and an estimated number of 20 people injured since the floods started on 19 March.

  • On 25 March, in Shiraz, Fars province, south Iran, 20 additional deaths and 94 injuries were reported due to sudden flooding triggered by heavy rains outside the city.

  • Over 60,000 people have been impacted by the flooding in 10 cities. Around 56,000 people have been internally displaced, of which around 10,800 reside in emergency shelters provided by the Iranian responders.

  • The government of Iran has been able to respond under the leadership of the National Disaster Management Organization (NDMO), and the operational efforts of the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS). Military assets were utilized in various search and rescue operations within the affected areas. The Ministry of Health (MoH) has asked WHO for assistance in the provision of medical relief items that are not currently available in country, while international assistant has not been requested by the GOI.

Situation Overview

The Golestan floods, caused by heavy rains starting on 19 March, have affected a total of 10 cities in northeast Iran (The cities of Gorgan, Bandar Turkman, Azad Shahr, Aq Ghala, Gonbad-e Kavus, bandar-e Gaz, Ali Abad, Kalaleh, Kordkuy, and Minodaasht). The government is currently investigating local reports on the lack of mitigation measures by the Water Authorities.

The worst affected areas are in the cities of Aq Qala and Gonbad Kavous and their surrounding villages where large parts are submerged under water. As a safety measure power supply was cut off in several areas.

Of the estimated 60,000 displaced, most stay with relatives in nearby villages. At least 10,000 people are provided emergency shelter assistance in stadiums, exhibition areas, schools and other large public facilities provided by IRCS.

Eye witnesses and locals are reporting severe physical damage to the infrastructure, agriculture fields and houses. Roads have been eroded mainly in Aq Qala. Initial assessments report 10,000 houses have been severely damaged.

Main roads from Tehran to the north of the country are facing temporary blockades due to landslides and floods. Despite the floods, the airports in the area are still operating.

An accurate assessment of the number of people impacted or displaced, as well as, infrastructure damages has not been initiated yet, as many areas remain inaccessible due to high level of storm water.

Other areas in west and south-west of Iran have been affected by heavy rains too. Namely, the Provinces of Lorestan, Kurdistan, Kermanshah, Khuzestan, Fars and Kohkilouyeh.

As of 25 March, floods in Shiraz, Poldokhtar, Khoramabad, Doreh, Khoramshahr, Abadan, Aligoudarz and Saghez were also reported. In Shiraz flash floods killed at least 20, injured 94 and an unverified number of people are still missing. In the city of Dezful in Khuzestan, south-west of Iran, the emergency situation is declared.


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