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Rouhani Appeals To Armed Forces For Help As More Floods Threaten Iran

Iran, Fars -- The flood damage in the city of Shiraz in Fars province on Monday March 25, 2019.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called on the regular army and the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) March 26 to help clear flood waters from cities, inundated by days of heavy rains.

He asked the armed forces to deploy their engineering know-how and resources and help other agencies in getting rid of exisiting flood waters in cities.

While Iran is mourning the victims of the recent flash floods in the ancient city of Shiraz, many parts of the country are on high alert, expecting more inundation.

The Islamic Republic's Vice President, Eshaq Jahangiri, has called Iranians to ignore "social media rumors" and unite in defending the capital city, Tehran, against a possible flood.

Recent floods left eighteen dead in the historic city of Shiraz, and one in Sar-e Pol-e Zahab in the western province of Kermanshah.

Officials on Tuesday warned that ten Iranian provinces face danger of more destructive floods until Wednesday.

An armored car driving through the worst hit area in Shiraz on March 25.

Tuesday morning the official government news agency reported that a “seasonal” river 65 km from the central city of Isfahan has broken its banks and a few local earth dams have been swept away by floods.

Meanwhile, in Lorestan Province, western Iran, the city of Pol-e Dokhtar is struggling with a power outage, and lack of drinking water while all roads leading to the town are disconnected by an unprecedented flash flood.

Pol-e Dokhtar, which already experienced a flood three months ago, is currently surrounded by water.

According to the governor of Lorestan, Moussa Khademi heavy precipitations in recent days have caused an ominous overflow of rivers in the province.

Meanwhile, the caretaker of the Governorate of Golestan Province, northern Iran, has called the citizens of Gomishan city to leave their homes, or move to upper floors, if their residences are more than one-story high.

The Governor of Golestan was sacked by the Islamic Republic's Vice President, for being on holiday abroad, and not returning to his duties when he was needed.

"Several Governors and more than 100 legislatures are currently on holiday somewhere abroad, but only I fell victim for being away, just because of the flood; tough luck" Hashemi has lamented.

President Rouhani himself has been harshly criticized on social media for the slow response of his government and local officials the flood disaster. He once again tried to respond to the criticism March 26, insisting that officials have done whatever was possible and most were discharging their duties.

The Interior Ministry's spokesman, Salman Samani, has insisted that an investigation will be underway to decide who has been responsible for the recent disastrous flash floods in the historic city of Shiraz, leaving eighteen dead.

Floods in Western Iran, Sare Pol Zahab

In the meantime, an Iranian journalist, Yashar Soltani, known as the whistleblower of widespread financial corruption in Tehran municipality, accused a former Mayor of Shiraz of filling up a flood channel with rubble and turning it into a public road.

Former Mayor, Samad Raja, immediately retaliated by insisting that he had only been responsible for the landscaping and paving the flood channel with asphalt. He added that the project for turning the flood channel into a public road was designed by a prominent university professor and started by two of his predecessors.

Iran Meteorological Organization (IRMO) has warned that Iran is confronting the risk of deadly flash floods in the coming days.

The provinces of Ardebil, Bushehr, Chahar Mahal&Bakhtiari, Fars, Ilam, Isfahan, Kermanshah, Khuzestan, Kohgilouyeh&Boyer Ahmad, Kurdestan are going to experience thunderstorms, high winds, rivers overflowing, slippery roads and heavy snowfall in coming days, IRMO has warned.

In a bit of good news, Iran's crude oil pipelines have not been damaged by flooding in recent days and the transfer of oil is taking place normally, Abbasali Jafarinasab, the director of the Iranian Oil Pipeline and Telecommunication Company, was quoted as saying on Tuesday by SHANA, the news site of the Iranian oil ministry.

The recent flash floods have been so devastating that even the Iranian Ambassador to London, Hamid Baeidinejad, has called the people to be careful and listen to the directives of the authorities to keep themselves safe.

Reporting with IRNA, ISNA, Fars and Reuters