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Floods Continue To Disrupt Road And Railway Traffic In Iran

Khuzestan floods continue to disrupt vital road and railway traffic in the most important Iranian oil producing region.

Following one month of floods in many parts of Iran, a new wave of torrents hit the southeastern Sistan and Baluchestan province, while the southwestern oil region continues to struggle with flood disruptions.

The news website of the monopolized state-run national Radio and TV reported that flash flood waters from Afghanistan have entered Iran and diverted to Lake Hamoun.

Meanwhile, Niatak bridge on the Zabol-Hirmand road collapsed on Sunday morning, April 21 under severe pressure of the flood, disconnecting the two cities.

Furthermore, the deputy head of the province's Crisis Management headquarters said that three cities in Hirmand region were evacuated after being inundated.

In the meantime, more than 1,000 miles to the west, the oil-rich province of Khuzestan is still struggling with a newly triggered wave of torrents.

Flood has submerged parts of the state highway between Ahvaz, the capital city of Iran’s oil producing province Khuzestan and the neighboring port city Khorramshahr, which handles a large quantity of sea cargo.

Therefore, traffic between the cities of Abadan, Ahvaz, Khorramshahr, and Shadegan has been slowed down.

"The Crisis Management Headquarters and troops are still attempting to block more water flowing into the highway," says the caretaker of Khorramshahr County's Governor, Koorosh Mavaddat.

Since the overflow of Iran's only navigable river, Karoun, in Early April, other roads from Abadan, Khorramshahr, and Shadegan to Ahvaz have been submerged, halting the traffic on the busy motorway, local news outlets say.

The old road connecting Ahvaz to Khorramshahr is also inundated and closed to traffic.

Moreover, the Abadan- Mahshahr road is also threatened by the possibility of Lake Shadegan's overflow.

Unprecedented flood waters in the rivers, Dez, Karkheh, and Karoun, have so far submerged more than 270 villages, 100,000 hectares of agricultural lands, and threatened nearly 400,000 residents of the oil-rich province.

It is not clear what all the disruptions caused by the floods mean for Iran’s oil industry in Khuzestan. Two weeks ago, officials reported stoppages in some oil fields swamped by floods, but there is little new information since then.

In the meantime, the managing director of Iranian National Railways Company, Saeid Rasouli announced on Sunday, April 21, that the Southern Line is closed, and in the Northern Line, the trains do not operate beyond the city of Gorgan.

On April 14, the Interior Minister Abdol Reza Rahmani Fazli had announced that 25 out of 31 provinces of Iran and more than 4,400 villages across the country had been hit by flash floods.

The head of Iran's Relief and Rescue Organization Morteza Salimi announced on April 20 that 290,000 people in flood-hit areas across the country have been sheltered, while hundreds of thousands more have been provided with emergency aid.

While visiting Iran’s flood-stricken provinces of Lorestan and Khuzestan on Saturday to assess relief operations, the Islamic Republic President Hassan Rouhani pledged full support to victims.

Once again, Rouhani promised to compensate the flood-stricken people as swiftly as possible.

Since March 19 the floods have caused an estimated 400 trillion rials in damages in 25 provinces across the country, the Islamic Republic Minister of Interior said on Sunday, April 4.

The amount of damage in USD can reach $9 billion based on the country’s official exchange rate or $2.9 billion based on free market rates in Tehran.