Sat Apr 15, 2017 06:52AM
A picture taken on April 14, 2017 shows flooding in northwestern Iran.
A picture taken on April 14, 2017 shows flooding in northwestern Iran.
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Torrential downpours have caused flooding and landslides in four provinces in Iran’s northwest, killing a total of 48 people.

Esma’eel Najjar, the head of the country’s Crisis Management Organization, said the provinces of East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, Kordestan, Zanjan and Ardabil have been hit by the extreme weather. 

As many as 20 people lost their lives in the village of Chinar in Ajabshir, while 22 people were killed in Azarshahr, he said.     

This photo taken on April 14, 2017 shows the aftermath of massive flooding in northwestern Iran. (Photo by IRNA)

In Kordestan province, floods killed one person in the village of Nanoor. Four others died in a landslide in Saqqez, IRNA news agency quoted Najjar as saying.  

Another person had died in the West Azerbaijan province, he added. 

Search and rescue operations have been underway, and military and law enforcement forces have been asked to assist.

Shahin Fat-hi, of the Iranian Red Crescent Society’s Search and Rescue Department, meanwhile, told ISNA that the operations had provided assistance to as many as 1150 people in 33 cities and villages.

He said 133 people had been accommodated in temporary shelters, 15 transferred to safe areas, and six taken to medical centers to receive due services.

Leader extends condolences over flooding

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei (Photo by leader.ir)

On Saturday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, in a message, expressed condolences over the “tragic and painful” deaths of a number of Iranians in the flooding and stressed all efforts need to be oriented towards rendering assistance to the affected people.  

“I offer condolences and sympathy to the bereaved [families of the victims] and the affected … and pray for their peace,” the Leader said.

“It is the prime duty of the concerned authorities to rush to the help of the affected and alleviate their sufferings, and there should be no dereliction of duty in this regard,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.