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Blackout From Lightning Claims Four Lives In Iran’s Flooded Khuzestan Province

Heavy rainfall has caused flooding of several cities in Khuzestan Province.
Heavy rainfall has caused flooding of several cities in Khuzestan Province.

A blackout caused by lightning and the failure of the hospital’s emergency power system claimed the lives of four elderly women in the intensive care unit of Khomeini hospital of Ahwaz, the capital of the oil-rich Khuzestan Province.

The women had been hospitalized for respiratory problems caused by air pollution, another problem the province has been plagued with. The emergency power system failed to work when a fuse was struck by lightning.

After hours of heavy rain buildings and houses started flooding in several cities including Ahwaz, Abadan, and Karun on Monday evening. According to the Director General of the Weather Forecast Organization of Khuzestan Province Abadan has experienced 104mm of precipitation in a few hours today.

Heavy rainfall in the past twenty-four hours has caused flooding of public buildings, hospitals and houses and in some areas sewage has backed up and filled the streets. According to the state-run TV (IRIB) in some areas in Abadan water stands at 30 centimeters above the floor level in houses.

“The President, First Vice President and Interior Minister have all been in contact with me and been informed of the situation,” Gholamreza Shariati, Governor General of Khuzestan Province, was quoted by the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) as saying on Tuesday. Shariati also criticized lack of coordination and proper municipal services in the flooded areas.

All schools and universities and some government offices in 13 town and cities of Khuzestan Province were closed yesterday and today due to bad weather and flooding.

From mid-March to April 2019 widespread flash flood affected many parts of Iran including Khuzestan where Dez and Karkheh rivers overflowed and filled the Dez and Karkheh dams. When the dams reached their maximum capacity, the excessive water had to be discharged to prevent them from breaking.