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Iran’s Rouhani Promises Compensation For Flood Victims As Death Toll Rises

Iranian President Hassan Rohani visits Golestan Province after the recent flooding on March 27.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has promised compensation to all those affected by flash floods, as the nationwide death toll from what he called an "unprecedented" natural disaster reached 39.

Rouhani and several cabinet ministers traveled to the northern province of Golestan on March 27 to inspected damage caused by the floods triggered by heavy rain.

Officials said that 39 people had been confirmed dead and hundreds suffered injuries in the floods, according to the semiofficial Tasnim news agency.

Most of the deaths were reported in Shiraz, the capital of the southern Fars Province, where 18 people died.

Tasnim quoted Rouhani as saying that the floods affected 25 of Iran's 31 provinces and that the scale of the disaster had overwhelmed emergency services in some areas.

"We will rebuild Golestan just as it was before, and we will stand by your side," the president said.

Iran's hard-liners have accused Rouhani's government of not doing enough to tackle the disaster.

However, Iranian media and activists say that rebuilding earthquake damage in Western Iran has not been honored since 2017 and people who still lived in containers, lost their temporary shelters in the recent floods.

Golestan Province's governor, who was abroad when the disaster hit, was dismissed on March 23 amid public outrage over his absence from work.

The state and senior officials have been harshly criticized for their lack of timely reaction to the floods on social media.

Emergency services have been hampered by last week's celebrations marking Norouz (Norooz), the pre-Islamic Persian new year, with many employees on vacation.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Tasmin