Floods Toll Hits 111 in Northern Iran
Flash floods triggered by torrential rains have killed at least 111 in northern Iran, where some 35 people are still missing, local sources told the official Iranian news agency, IRNA, on Monday.
The floods started Friday and are concentrated in Kalaleh in the region of Gorgan.
Local officials have made pleas for essential supplies to be sent in, such as tents and medicines.
The floods have cut electricity, gas and water supplies, and destroyed local infrastructure as well as the roads linking the affected regions to other parts of the province.
The officer-in-charge of Dasht-e Jajarm village near Bojnourd in Khorasan province, Mehdi Akhlaqi-Pour, said Sunday that eight people died while 30 were still missing as a result of the floods.
"Some 1,000 heads of livestock have perished and orchards have been destroyed," he said, adding that some 500 hectares of farmlands had also been washed away.
Supreme leader Ali Khamenei and President Mohammad
Khatami on Sunday issued their condolences to the nation, especially the victims' families, and asked concerned officials to exert their utmost efforts to alleviate the effects of the disaster and extend needed relief, said IRNA.
The Iranian Parliament on Saturday approved urgent emergency relief for those affected by the floods.
Relief operations started on Sunday using seven helicopters, which have thus far rescued some 700 villagers from the Kalaleh area.
The Red Crescent has also deployed two helicopters
in the province.
The floods, which began on Friday, came as much of the rest of the country was suffering a severe three-year drought, which has killed livestock, destroyed crops and dried up lakes.
Light rainfalls have brought relief to millions of Iranians in other parts of the country who have endured the effects of the crippling dry spell, said to be the worst in the past 30 years, the agency said – Albawaba.com
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