Iran struggles to recover from days of heavy rain and deadly flooding

World Today

Iran is struggling from days of heavy rain and deadly flooding. The majority of country’s 31 provinces have been affected. At least 45 people have died. And the worst may not be over yet.

CGTN’s Asieh Namdar reports.

Hundreds of villages and towns in the west and southwestern regions of the country remain submerged. The military and Iranian Red Crescent helicopters are taking part in relief and rescue operations.

“For as long as people need us, we stand by the people. We will stay here until bridges are re-established, hospitals are operational,” said Army Commander Amir Heidari. 

About 70 villages in the southwestern Province of Khuzestan are the latest to be evacuated. In the historic city of Shiraz, a popular destination – cars caught in flood waters – with some piled on top of one another after a flash flood. 

Authorities have warned people to stay off the roads – because many are washed out – or impassable. Residents in one of the hardest hit areas, Khorramabad in Lorestan Province are under orders to evacuate immediately.

For many, the help didn’t come fast enough.

“This morning when I came here my shop had completely disappeared and all of my furniture and computers were gone with the water too,” said one shopkeeper.

The Iranian government is facing criticism at home for being too slow in its initial response. In a tweet, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blamed U.S. sanctions for hampering rescue operations.

The US is blaming “mismanagement” by the Iranian government for the extent of the disaster. But despite the criticism … U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement, saying the United States “stands ready to assist and contribute” to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The U.S. joins Britain and Germany – in offering to send humanitarian aid. Turkey already has – five truck-loads – including tents, beds, and blankets.

The kind of help – Iran desperately needs – as it tries to recover from some of its worst flooding in recent memory.