Severe snowstorms claim at least 8 lives, cause widespread disruptions in northern Iran

Severe snowstorms claim at least 8 lives, cause widespread disruptions in northern Iran

Severe snowstorms claimed the lives of at least eight people and injured 78 others in northern Iran, the country's emergency organization confirmed on Wednesday, February 12, 2020. The harsh weather also caused widespread disruptions in parts of the region, affecting power, water, classes, and travel.

In the northern province of Gilan, five people died after they got buried by an avalanche in Roudbar. One person was killed after falling off a snowy rooftop, while another person died when his home's roof caved in.

The eighth victim was reported in Khalkhal, northwestern Iran, who died due to a lack of access to medical treatment. Authorities did not disclose further details on the exact cause of death. 78 others were injured.

In Gilan, the severe weather has resulted in power outages that affected 250 000 households. Electricity was eventually restored to 85 000 on Wednesday. 50 percent of subscribers particularly in rural areas lost access to the internet.

Water supply was also disrupted for 12 000 people. Later on, the supply was resolved for 6 000 households, according to Gilan Governor General Arsalan Zare-e.

More than 500 cars were trapped in snow, but have since been rescued as well. Schools and universities in the province have also been canceled.

On Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani prompted administrative organizations to hasten efforts to help affected people, particularly in the northern provinces.

On Tuesday, February 11, rare snow blanketed Baghdad-- an occurrence last seen in 2008 and the second time in over 100 years, According to the Iraqi Meteorological Organization, the snow is due to the country being exposed to a cold polar air mass.

Featured image credit: VOA Farsi/YouTube

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