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Fragmented Reports Speak Of Heavy Flood Damage In Iran

Military boats rescue people after flash flooding around the northern city of Aq Qala in Golestan province, Iran, Monday, March 25, 2019

Local officials in various parts of flood hit provinces across Iran say the country has sustained tens of trillion rials of losses in the floods that hit 28 of the country's 31 provinces during the past week.

The government has not submitted any comprehensive report about the economic impact of the floods yet. Reports of damages surface here and there in a non-systematic manner through occasional interviews with local officials.

In one instance, officials dealing with agriculture announced a preliminary estimate of $200 million destruction to the sector.

Houses, roads, farmlands, animal husbandry farms, fish farms are the worst hit parts, say officials.

Reports from some provinces are scant. For instance, in Kerman Province in the southeast some 1,600 kilometers of rural roads have been washed away by the floods, reports say, but there is very little reporting on the impact of floods on this province.

More than 200 cars were swept away in the first flash flood that hit Shiraz on March 25.
More than 200 cars were swept away in the first flash flood that hit Shiraz on March 25.

There is also no report yet about the extent of damage in the city of Shiraz, which was violently hit by flash floods on March 25. The city is still digging out of a sea of mud clogging streets and buildings.

Also, there are still no reports on industrial disruptions or damages to industrial plants.

The oil industry might have also sustained flood damage, since Iran’s oil province, Khuzestan is still under threat after a week of floods. Two major dams in the province face a serious threat.

Social media reports say Lorestan Province is one of the worst hit places but there is a news blackout about economic consequences of floods in Lorestan and Ilam and to some extent Kermanshah provinces bordering Iraq.

Most reports about the damages come from the provinces of Northern Khorasan, Golestan and Mazandaran, but this does not mean other areas are less seriously affected. For instance, experts have said they believe there will be more floods in Khuzestan where overflowing dams pose the threat of more serious devastation.

Northern Khorasan Province

Officials in the Iranian province of Northern Khorasan say floods in the past week have caused 4 trillion rials ($30 million) of damages to the road network in the province while nomadic tribes in the province have also lost some 700 billion rials worth of their animals in the floods.

The local governors of Shirvan and Jajarm in the same province told IRNA on March 29 that

The two towns have sustained 161 and 142 billion rials of damages respectively.

Javad Nazari, the Crisis Manager of Northern Khorasan Razavi told the official news agency IRNA on March 22 that houses and farmlands in the province has sustained 3 trillion rials of damages as a result of floods during the first day that the province was affected by extreme weather.

In the same province, farmers lost some 100 billion rials in Raz and Jargolan district, IRNA reported on March 23.

Golestan Province

Preliminary number from Golestan province indicate tens of millions of dollars in damages.

In Galikosh, in the eastern part of Golestan province 500 billion rials of damages were sustained by houses, roads and farmlands.

Meanwhile, according to local authorities, torrential rains, floods and high winds have caused 620 billion rials of damages to nomadic tribes living in tents in Golestan province.

Shiraz, March 26, 2019 -- Sudden falsh floods dumped hundreds of tons of mud into the city.
Shiraz, March 26, 2019 -- Sudden falsh floods dumped hundreds of tons of mud into the city.

Damages made to the city of Ramian in Golestan province have been estimated at 720 billion rials as of March 26.

Early reports from Azadshahr in Golestan province put the extent of damages to the city at 970 billion rials.

Damages to roads in this province have been estimated at 1000 billion rials on March 24, but the figure must have risen with more floods during the week.

Mazandaran Province

Initial reports from Galougah in Mazandaran province estimate the damages at 480 billion rials. In the same province 60 percent of rice paddies have been reportedly destroyed by flood water.

Tens of kilometres of roads in Mazandaran province have been washed away by floods causing around 3 trillion rials ($24 million) of damages according to early estimates.

Damages made to farmers have been estimated at roughly 5 trillion rials ($38.5 million).

Local officials have said there are plans under way to compensate the damages, but did not elaborate further.

During visits to Golestan, Mazandaran and Khouzestan provinces, President Hassan Rouhani has promised compensation while the country has just left behind one of its worst years in terms of economic growth and inflation.

Social media users have noted that the budget allocated to crisis management is around 130 billion rials ($1 million), negligible compared to what religious organizations promoting regime's ideology get from the government.