Iranian Red Crescent says that flash flooding and landslides affected than 40 counties in six provinces of East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Zanjan, Mazandaran and Ardebil in Iran’s northwest on Saturday, 15 April 2017.
Major flooding triggered by heavy rains in these provinces flooded houses and swept away cars after rivers burst their banks. Areas around Ajabshir and Azar-Shahr, both in East Azerbaijan Province, have been worst hit.
Iranian Red Crescent says that at least 42 people have died in the floods. Iran’s Press TV says the figure has now reached 48. Most of the fatalities were in East Azerbaijan Province.
Esma’eel Najjar, the head of the country’s Crisis Management Organization was quoted by local media as saying that 20 deaths occurred in the village of Chinar in Ajabshir and 22 in Azar-Shahr, both in East Azerbaijan Province. A further 5 deaths were reported in Kurdistan Province (1 in Nanur, 4 in Saqqez) and one fatality in West Azerbaijan Province.
Local media report that water level in the rivers of Azar-Shahr has risen to the highest levels for decades.
European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) reports that the Iranian Red Crescent as well as air ambulances, police and the army have been deployed to assist in search and rescue and relief efforts.
— Gary Lewis (@GaryLewisUN) April 15, 2017
Red Crescent Response
Red Crescent reports that their search and rescue operations are still underway in East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan and Mazandaran provinces.
Mr. Morteza Salimi, Head of Relief and Rescue Organisation of the Iranian Red Crescent announced that 1,860 people have benefited from the relief and rescue services, and 288 people were provided with emergency sheltering following torrential rains and flooding that began on Friday.
Mr. Salimi said that water has been pumped out of 179 residential units and operations for the recovery of 40 trapped cars in floods have been successful in various areas. He said 15 people had also been transferred to safe areas, and seven taken to medical centres to receive due services. “Five people are still missing in the floods,” he also added.
Head of Red Crescent Relief and Rescue Organisation pointed out to the use of 80 operational teams including 380 relief workers and rescuers in these operations and stressed, “30 relief tents, 200 blankets, 1,000 tins of canned food, 20 kilograms of date, and 700 bottles of mineral water have been distributed amongst the affected since the last day.”