Flood disaster in Iran reached a new level on Monday as Flash floods inundated the historic city of Shiraz in south-central part of the country, killing at least 19 people.
Heavy rain began falling in the morning and one of the main thoroughfares of the city became a flood water route, sweeping away hundreds of cars in its path.
The flood appears suddenly, catching drivers unawares in their vehicles.
The chief coroner of the city told ISNA that six men, seven women and three children are confirmed dead in the floods and dozens of people have been taken to hospitals with injuries.
Shiraz is the capital city of Fars Province. The Governor of Fars urged residents to stay in their homes until further notice. He told ISNA that flash floods started from hills around the city and in a matter of minutes swept parts of Shiraz.
Enayatollah Rahimi also told Mehr news agency that heavy rains were expected and the local government had made preparations days in advance, but many did not heed the warnings and the speed of the flood also caught officials by surprise.
The flood also inundated the historic Vakil Bazaar.
A spokesman of the fire department in Shiraz said that water levels might still increase and flood many residential and commercial buildings.
Iran has been experiencing heavy rainfall in the past week, in what seems to be a break in the country’s drought, which had reduced water supplies to a minimum.
Floods in the north of the country led to multiple local crises since March 22.
The floods have hit Iran at a time when schools and many offices are closed due to the Nowruz New Year holidays. But at the same time, many people are traveling on roads that can be swept away by water.
Latest reports raised the alarm about the Tehran-Qom highway, as strong rainstorms hit the area. A dam in the region was inundated by floods and water surpassed the dam.