At least 25 killed after massive floods hit Iran

At least 25 people have been killed and 16 others are missing after heavy rainRain is liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then precipitated—that is, become heavy enough to fall under gravity. Rain is a major component of the water cycle and is responsible for depositing most of the fresh water on the Earth. It ... caused massive floodsThe overflowing of the normal confines of a stream or other body of water, or the accumulation of water over areas that are not normally submerged. Floods include river (fluvial) floods, flash floods, urban floods, pluvial floods, sewer floods, coastal floods, and glacial lake outburst floods ... and landslides in Iran’s northwest over the past couple of days. Parts of the region saw waterClimate change is expected to exacerbate current stresses on water resources from population growth and economic and land-use change, including urbanisation. On a regional scale, mountain snow pack, glaciers and small ice caps play a crucial role in freshwater availability. Widespread mass ... levels not seen in the past 40 years. The heaviest downpours were registered on Friday, April 14, 2017.

According to Esma’eel Najjar, the head of the country’s Crisis Management Organization, the affected provinces are East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, Kordestan, and Zanjan Provinces.

The worst affected were Azar-Shahr and Ajab-Sheer counties of East Azerbaijan, where at least 19 people were killed and 16 remain missing. Khalil Sa’ei, the head of crisis management at the Provincial Governor’s Office, said the province had witnessed the heaviest downpours of the past several years on Friday. The Ajab-Shir and Azar-Shahr counties had borne the brunt of the disaster, amid reports that water levels in the latter region had risen to levels last seen 40 years ago, Axar reported.

Video courtesy PressTV (April 14, 2017)

Video courtesy Focus Iran (April 14, 2017)

PressTV said Kordestan Province was hit by both floodingThe overflowing of the normal confines of a stream or other body of water, or the accumulation of water over areas that are not normally submerged. Floods include river (fluvial) floods, flash floods, urban floods, pluvial floods, sewer floods, coastal floods, and glacial lake outburst floods ... and landslides. 

Shahin Fat-hi, of the Iranian Red Crescent Society’s Search and Rescue Department, meanwhile, told ISNA that the operations had provided assistance to as many as 1 150 people in 33 cities and villages.

Damage reports are still coming in and search and rescue operations are underway. Military and law enforcement forces have been asked to assist.

Latest reports mention severe damage to infrastructure and at least 50 villages destroyed. 

Featured image: Massive floods in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province on April 14, 2017. Credit: PressTV

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