After Australia and US midwest, now Iran. Flooding in Iran has killed at least 70 people, forced the mass evacuation of thousands, and caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to Iranian agriculture as heavy rain continues to fall on much of the country.
Mansoureh Bagheri, Director of International Relations at the Iranian Red Crescent Society, spoke with NPR from Tehran, Iran. “Since March 16, we’ve started three rounds of rainfall in Iran. It started from the north part of Iran, and I can say it engaged the whole provinces. Out of 31 provinces, almost 24 provinces have been impacted by the severe rainfall,” Bagheri said.
The floods occurred during Iran’s new year holiday of Norwuz, and left many stranded. The state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reports floods killed people across 13 provinces. According to IRNA, “The disaster began with heavy rainfalls in the northern provinces of Iran since March 19, and continued across Iran with flash floods in southern, central and western provinces.“
Thousands of sheep have drowned during the last downpours:
Iran’s Mehr News Agency reports some 1,900 cities and villages have been flooded, “causing hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to Iranian water and agriculture infrastructures.“
Bagheri told NPR, “The destruction is high. I can say regarding the agriculture, regarding the infrastructure, regarding the livelihood, the impact is high.“
The level of international attention to #Iran's unprecedented #floods is surprisingly low. People of Iran are in need of help and attention, regardless of international politics.— Kaveh Madani | کاوه مدنی (@KavehMadani) April 2, 2019
Will be on today's @BBCNewshour at 20:30 (& 21:30) GMT, going over floods in Iran with @BBCTimFranks. pic.twitter.com/ffMIZZWehf
The disaster, which has so far killed 70 people, has left aid agencies struggling to cope and seen 86,000 people moved to emergency shelters.
#IranFloods April 7- Khuzestan W #Iran— Iran News Wire (@IranNW) April 7, 2019
Horrific areal view of the devastating flood ravaged western provinces.
The Iranian government’s response has been totally inadequate, with the mishandling of the crisis and lack of preparedness evident. pic.twitter.com/pBPeYDSWAk
Early estimates put agriculture sector losses at 47 trillion rials (about $350 million), the head of the Agriculture Ministry’s crisis management, Mohammad Mousavi was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA based on the unofficial exchange rate of 135,000 rials to a dollar.
Iran – Lorestan— Iran Panorama (@IranPanoramaNew) April 1, 2019
The flood has reached the roof of the houses and destroys them in Pol-e Dokhtar in Khorramabad city . The Citizens don't have any government assistance.
April 1,2019#IranFloods https://t.co/M4eumQ52I6 pic.twitter.com/Jd5WvnAktX
The government has assured citizens, and especially flood-affected farmers, that all losses will be compensated. But will they have enough money to cover the natural disaster costs?
COMMUNITIES UNDER WATER
As waters continue to submerge villages, the government said it had deployed more mobile medical units to southern provinces. Around 1,000 people have been airlifted by emergency helicopters to safety in recent days.
The head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards reiterated that the forces “were using all their power” to minimize damages in oil-rich southwestern Khuzestan province. Iranian drilling companies and other energy firms have been assisting rescue efforts in flooded areas, using pumps to remove water.
Rising water, mudslides and rockslide have blocked 36 roads across the country. Many flights and trains have been affected.
First of was Australia, then US midwest and now Iran. It’s not a coincidence that these have all happened in just a couple of months. Who’s next? Be prepared for the next emergency!