Heavy flooding caused by heavy rains has killed dozens of people in 10 provinces in northern and northeastern Iran: Golestan, Mazandaran, northern Khorasan, Fars, and Bushehr.
“70% of the city of Aqqala is under water,” said Amangaldi Zamir, the governor of the city, capital of a county in Golestan province, in the border region of Turkmenistan.
“The scale of the areas affected by the disaster is a serious obstacle to the speed and effectiveness of relief efforts,” added Zamir, whose comments were relayed by the official news agency, Irna.
Apart from the capital of this county, 14 neighboring villages are buried under water and declared disaster areas, said the governor, who pointed out that a number of these villages have not yet been evacuated due to a lack of relief supplies.
At least nine people were killed in the floods that affected the three provinces of Golestan, Mazandéran and Northern Khorasan. Five people lost their lives and another was reported missing in Mazandéran province. Two other individuals were killed in Northern Khorasan and two others in the Golestan.
The people of the northern provinces of Iran continue to reel under the pressure of flash floods that hit the region earlier this month. Meanwhile, there are signs that 10 Iranian provinces are under the threat of similar natural disasters.
Two-thirds of Aqqala city in Golestan province has been submerged in water and to date, more than 10,000 residential units have been damaged due to the floods. 12 cities of this province have been affected. The situation in the cities of Miandorud, Simorgh, Juybar, Sari, and Babol is critical.
At least 500 residential units have become uninhabitable. Many of the villages of the region don’t have access to potable water and the tribes in the region are surrounded by flood water. The flood-stricken areas also don’t have access to electricity.
The cities of Mazandaran province have lost access to purified water and their water sources are polluted. According to regime officials, the situation will continue for at least five more days.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of The resistance of Iran (NCRI), called on all Iranian compatriots to help the people of Mazandaran and Golestan.
Mrs. Rajavi also stressed that the situation has become exacerbated by the corrupt policies and the mismanagement of regime officials.
The Iranian regime is faced with an intensifying wave of anger and outrage by the Iranian people toward its inaction and mismanagement of natural disasters. Fearing the eruption of widespread protests, the Iranian regime dismissed the governor of Golestan province and appointed his deputy as the new governor of the province.
The government of Hassan Rouhani tried to vindicate the regime and lay the blame for all the problems of the northern provinces on the dismissed governor. Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, Rouhani’s interior minister, said, “The governor has gone on holiday and has abandoned the province in the current situation, which is shameful. He has gone abroad to look after family issues. I had told him to only go if there was no problem.”
State-run media are acknowledging that the regime has had a major role in causing the disaster, and its destructive policy in razing the forests of northern Iran have contributed to the current situation.
“The capacity of pastures in the region is just enough for just a quarter of the livestock. Authorities must tell us why they have released four times more livestock in the region than its natural resources can provision,” an expert said, adding that the reason these natural disasters recur is that non-expert persons are hired to manage the resources of the region. “400 acres of forests have been destroyed. This is a tragedy.”
Bushehr, Western Azerbaijan, Khuzestan, Lorestan, Kohgiluyeh and Buyer Ahmad, Fars, Hormozgan, and Khorasan are other provinces that are threatened by floods.
Meanwhile according to Radio Farda: Iran’s Deputy Attorney General has announced that raising funds by celebrities to help victims of floods in Iran “is banned” and he warned that any bank account opened for this purpose will be closed.
The mismanagement of natural disasters is a recurring issue in Iran. In February, floods in southern provinces left the people of the region in a similar situation. The regime’s lack of provisions to prevent disasters and to manage them after they happen are causing great damage to the livelihoods of the people. In another tragic example, the people of Kermanshah province continue to suffer from harsh living conditions more than 18 months after they were hit by a devastating earthquake. The regime’s relief efforts have been disastrous.