Iran flooding kills 70 after record rainfalls

Seventy people have died in flooding in Iran after record rainfalls began saturating parts of the country last month, state-run media reported.

Deaths have been recorded across 13 provinces, with the highest casualties in Fars, Lorestan, Golestan and Hamedan, state-run IRNA quotes the head of Iran’s Coroner’s Office, Ahmad Shojaei, as saying.

The semi-official Mehr News agency says record rainfalls since March 19 have so far flooded some 1,900 cities and villages across Iran, causing hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to water and agriculture infrastructures.

“Over 140 rivers have burst their banks and some 409 landslides have been reported in the country, it reported, adding that 78 roads had been blocked and 84 bridges in flood-stricken areas affected.

Officials on Saturday warned residents in the province of Khuzestan of rising water levels and urged them to take evacuation notices seriously, IRNA reported.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent said it was helping thousands of people affected by the flooding.

“Red Crescent volunteers and staff have evacuated hundreds of people to safety, and have distributed food and items such as tents, blankets and health kits to tens of thousands of people,” the organization’s Middle East and North Africa director, Sayed Hashem, said.

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The speaker of Iran’s Parliament, Ali Larijani on Saturday reiterated