TE24 International Desk:
TEHRAN – At least 17 people have been killed and 6 are missing after floods hit southern Iran. After heavy rains hit most of the dry countries, state media reported on Saturday.
“Yesterday around 5 p.m., heavy rains flooded the towns of Ezi and Ludvar in central Estaban county,” said Fars province governor Yusef Kalgar, state news agency IRNA reported.
“17 bodies have been found near Estefburn, of which 13 have been identified,” he said, adding that six are still missing. ” he added.
Videos posted locally and on social media showed cars being swept away by the rising waters of the Roodball River. Over the past decade, Iran has not only experienced frequent droughts, but also regular floods. In 2019, a devastating flood in the southern part of the country killed at least 76 people and caused more than $2 billion in damage.
At least two people were killed in flash floods during heavy rains in January, local officials told the Fars news agency. Scientists say climate change may not only increase extreme weather patterns, including droughts, but also increase the intensity of storms.
Like many of its neighbors, Iran has been suffering from years of chronic drought and heatwaves, which are expected to worsen. Protests against river degradation have been held in recent months, particularly in central and southwestern Iran.
In November last year, thousands of people, including farmers, gathered on the dry bed of the Jayandelud River in the central part of the country, complaining about the drought and accusing the authorities of water leakage.
As the protests intensified, security forces fired tear gas and 67 people were arrested. Last week, state media said Iranian police had arrested several people for disturbing security after protesting the destruction of a lake once considered the largest in the Middle East.
According to the United Nations Environment Program, Lake Urmia in the mountainous region of northwestern Iran began to shrink in 1995 due to a combination of long-term drought and water pumping for agriculture and dams. In neighboring Iraq, 12 people died in flash floods in the northern part of the country despite severe floods in December.
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