Iran Flood Kills At Least 70, Leaves Thousands Stranded

Sanders Jett-Folk | @sjettfolk

Heavy rains across much of Iran have caused widespread flooding, which has killed at least 70 people. Thousands of others have had to evacuate from their homes.

An Ongoing Crisis

The widespread flash floods have been running rampant since the middle of March.

Norwuz, or the Iranian New Year, was occurring at the time when the first wave of flooding began. As a result, impacts were more severe, as many Iranians were traveling at the time. This resulted in many deaths on roadways.

Dams in many large cities have overflowed. Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported Tuesday that roughly 1,900 cities and villages have been flooded. They also stated that 78 roads have been blocked, and access to 84 bridges have been affected.

Iran’s First Deputy Parliament Speaker Masoud Pezeshkian stated on Tuesday that all Iranian people need to assist in helping people in flood-affected regions: “Although Iranian government, Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Basij and other forces are working in these flood-affected areas, all Iranian people should help them on this issue.”

The Iranian Red Cross has launched extensive efforts to provide affected citizens with aid and resources during the ongoing crisis. “537,000 kgs of food and living items have been transferred through 556 flight hours and 1,970 relief and rescue workers were transported”, they reported Wednesday.

Iran: US Sanctions Hindering Aid

The Iranian government has been heavily critical of how the United States has handled the catastrophe.

The US State Department issued a statement last Tuesday, expressing the US officials “condolences to the victims of the recent floods in Iran.” However, the statement also argued that the “floods once again show the level of Iranian regime mismanagement in urban planning and in emergency preparedness.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, railed the US State Department’s statement as “FAKE NEWS.” He asserted that “Iranian Red Crescent can’t receive any funds due to illegal US sanctions. US should own up to its ECONOMIC TERRORISM.”

Relief efforts from many organizations, including the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, are ongoing. Flooding is likely to continue as rains continue to fall.

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