Iran endures more flooding as death toll continues to rise
By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
April 04, 2019, 9:57:50 AM EDT
Ongoing flooding worsened across Iran in recent days as another storm system battered the region with heavy rainfall.
The official death toll from the recent flooding stood at 62 on Thursday; however, that number could rise as floodwaters continued to rise in some parts of the country.
The provinces of Khuzestan, Lorestan, Kermanshah and Isfahan remain at greatest risk following downpours on Sunday and Monday.
On Monday, the Lorestan capital of Khorramabad was inundated with flood waters knocking out communication services and shutting down the city's airport.
The province of Ilam has also been affected with flooding, disrupting communication services.
Railways across western Iran have been severely impacted by the ongoing flooding with tracks damaged or submerged by flood waters and mudslides.
Rainfall of 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) was common throughout western Iran, with local amounts up to 150 mm (6 inches).
The repeated rounds of heavy rainfall caused flash flooding, and now concerns are rising that dam failures and water releases may cause additional flooding problems.
Tens of thousands of people have been forced to evacuate their homes due to the ongoing flooding.
At least 25,000 homes have been completely destroyed by the flooding and another 60,000 homes have been significantly damaged, according to Radio Farda.
While the worst of the flooding has been across the western half of Iran, Tehran has also experienced localized flooding, with more than a month's worth of rain falling within the past week.
Ali Asghar Peyvandi, the head of Iran's Red Crescent, said he feared many villages in Khuzestan "will be submerged" as flood waters moved south towards the oil-rich province, according to Aljazeera news. Preparations have been made to accommodate 100,000 people in case evacuations become necessary.
"Our dams are more than 95 percent full," Gholamreza Shariati, governor of the province, told state TV.
Aside from the impact to communities, ancient relics have also been damaged throughout Iran from the recent flooding.
Some of these cultural sites, including Chogha Zanbil, date back to pre-500 BC.
A break from heavy rain is forecast across Iran in the coming days; however, a few showers and a local downpour are still possible on Wednesday.
Another round of widespread rainfall is possible this weekend, which could bring the risk for new flooding problems.
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