Afghanistan and Iran – Deadly Flash Floods Strike Again

Parts of Afghanistan and Iran have once again been devastated by flash flooding and torrential rain. Over 80 people have now died in floods in the two countries since mid-March.


Iran’s Tasnim news agency reported that at least five people were killed in the floods in Lorestan province on Sunday, 31 March, 2019. In a 24 hour period to 01 April, 2019, Khorramabad, capital of Lorestan Province, recorded 106.9 mm of rain and Hamedan in Hamadan Province, recorded 98.6 mm.

The flooding has caused damage to infrastructure, homes, bridges and roads in Lorestan province, where the areas of Nurabad in Delfan county and Dorud, Dorud County, have been hardest hit.

The country has endured days of flooding and heavy rain, which began in northern areas of Golestan and Mazandaran during mid-March and later devastated parts of the city of Shiraz in Fars Province.

As of 30 March, at least 45 people had been reported dead, with flooding affecting the provinces of Khuzestan, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Fars, Golestan, Kermanshah, North Khorasan, Mazandaran, Semnan, and Sistan and Baluchestan. Across the country, Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) have provided relief services to around 45,000 people and emergency shelter to over 26,000.

A state of emergency has been declared in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, where dozens of villages along the Dez and Karkheh rivers have been evacuated after flood gates from the overflowing Karkheh Dam were opened on 31 March, 2019.


Severe rain and flash flooding affected parts of northern and western Afghanistan from late Thursday 28 March, 2019. Mazar-i-Sharif in Balkh Province recorded 90mm of rain in 24 hours to 28 March.

According to media reports quoting Afghanistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA), the recent flash flooding killed at least 12 people in the northern province of Faryab and 10 people in the western province of Herat. Flooding has also devastated parts of Balkh Province in the north, where 5 people have died and more than 3,000 houses destroyed, while 8 people died in flash flooding in Badghis Province.

World Vision International, the humanitarian aid and development organization, said tens of thousands of people are affected.

“We’re hearing from people in Badghis that it’s the worst storm they’ve had in 20 years. These floodwaters are going to cause further devastation to families who have been barely coping with a drought for the past two years,” said World Vision’s Narges Ghafary in Herat.

The recent flooding follows deadly flash floods in Herat Province on 18 March. Flash floods earlier that month affected 14 provinces of the country, leaving at least 63 people dead.

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