Severe floods, worst locust invasion in 50 years continue devastating Iran

Severe floods, worst locust invasion in 50 years continue devastating Iran

Major flooding continued in parts of Iran this week, with at least 19 provinces badly affected since late February. Inundations have caused damages worth hundreds of millions of dollars. More buildings sustained damages, both in rural and urban areas, and four additional deaths were confirmed. Meanwhile, Iran is grappling with the biggest desert locust invasion in the last 50 years.

The fatalities, along with one missing person, were reported in the provinces of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Fars, and Khuzestan.

According to a bulletin issued by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for Iran on March 31, 19 provinces have been affected by the major flooding.

The Ministry of Agriculture Jihad announced that it has caused damages worth US$120 million to the agricultural sector. In Fars, the damages cost more than 50 million dollars.

Access roads to 130 villages, mostly in the south, have been closed. The worst-affected areas are Qasre-Wand, Nikshahr, Chabarah, Kenarak, and Dolgan in Sistan and Baluchistan.

In Iranshahr, 11 bridges were destroyed, the roadway to Bam city has been closed, and inundations have reached the roofs of vehicles.

In Kerman, flooding swept more than 10 000 ha (24 711 acres) of farmland, ravaging wheat, tomato, watermelon, and other vegetables and flowers. The damages were estimated to be around US$30 million.

The Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS), along with other national organizations, continue to conduct relief operations in the affected provinces. So far, rescue operations had covered around 7 000 people in the worst-hit areas in Kerman.

Relief teams are also on stand by in case of worsening floods. The meteorological organization recommended authorities to manage the dams, urged people to distance from rivers, and advised to avoid unnecessary travel to lessen accidents and impacts due to flooding.

Meanwhile, Iran is under the biggest desert locust invasion in the last 50 years.

According to UN OCHA, 6 provinces in southern Iran have been infected by swarms of desert locust in an area of around 45 000 ha (111 200 acres) of land.

Hatchings in southern provinces are expected to increase to the great amount before the summer if not effectively managed. For instance, it is forecasted the number of hatchings in Boushehr province could reach up to 800 billion from 2 billion as of March 15.

President Rouhani said his government will provide the required facilities and credits for producing pesticides to prevent pests and grasshoppers in the concerned provinces.

 Read more:  Desert locust outbreak remains extremely alarming, new swarms continue forming and invading Africa and the Middle East

Featured image credit: Dobrinich Channel/YouTube

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