1.2 million people affected by floods in Iran
Some 1.2 million people in northeast Iran have been affected by floods that have so far claimed the lives of 217 residents, a UN official said Tuesday, August 21, quoting the findings of a fact-finding mission.
The provinces of Golestan, Khorassan and Semnan are hard-hit by the floods that came after three years of drought, according to Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the UN's bureau of humanitarian affairs.
Iranian state television has put the toll higher at 240 while the state news agency IRNA has said more than 300 people remain unaccounted for. In Golestan alone, 214 people have died and some 218,000 affected by the floods, of whom 10,000 have been left homeless, she said.
A total of 387 villages have seen vital infrastructure destroyed such as bridges and roads and 4,000 buildings have been severely damaged. Some 10,000 hectares of forest and grazing fields were also destroyed.
The UN bureau has given $60,000 in emergency aid to the flood-affected areas and is awaiting the findings of another fact-finding mission to launch an appeal for aid. Torrential rains earlier this month sparked the floods in Iran's northern and northeastern provinces. ― (AFP, Geneva)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)