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Unprecedented floods hit Iran, up to 70 percent of annual rainfall average in just one day

unprecedented-floods-iran-march-april-2019

Heavy rain and floods continue across Iran, with 25 of its 31 provinces affected since March 19, 2019. The worst-hit provinces in recent days are Golestan in the north, Fars in the south and Lorestan in the west. As of April 2, the death toll stands at 57, with 19 in the city of Shiraz. 478 people were injured and tens of thousands of displaced.

Authorities say they are dealing with extreme flooding and heavy rainfall which at times equaled more than half of the annual average within 24 hours. 

Golestan Province, for example, received 70% of its annual rainfall in just one day. This is unprecedented for the past 300 years, IFRC said.

Authorities have asked the military to help with rescue efforts, including helicopters and amphibious vehicles as tens of thousands of people evacuated their homes in western and southwestern Iran.

New emergency alerts have been issued on Monday, April 1 with west of the country expected to be affected by further flooding.

A state of emergency has been declared in several cities in the province of Lorestan, forcing thousands to leave their homes after levels of three major rivers dramatically rose, triggering flash floods.

Flooding has also reached Khorramabad, the provincial capital, and has inundated the cities of Poldokhtar, Delfan, Dorood and Ma’mulan, Tasnim reports.

In a 24 hour period ending April 1, Khorramabad recorded 106.9 mm (4.20 inches) of rain. During the same period, Hamedan in Hamadan Province recorded 98.6 mm (3.88 inches). 

Khorramabad receives about 488 mm (19.21 inches) of precipitation in the entire year, 71 mm (2.79 inches) in March and 77 mm (3.03 inches) in April.

Hamedan receives about 384 mm (15.11) per year, 58 mm (2.28 inches) in March and 76 mm (2.99 inches) in April.

The commander of the Iranian Army’s Ground Forces, said Tuesday, April 2 that 10 choppers had already arrived in Lorestan's flood-hit areas to deliver rescue and relief operations and two more were to join the fleet later in the day.

Much of the rescue efforts were centered in the city of Pol-e Dokhtar, where hundreds of people were trapped in areas cut off by violent torrents of water.

Featured image: Iran floods – April 2, 2019. Credit: Press TV

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