Iran Evacuates Villages following Recent Flooding that Killed Dozens
Iranian authorities on Saturday evacuated dozens of villages in the country’s southwestern region as forecasters predicted more heavy rain following a week of flooding that killed 45 people, according to state media. Iran’s official meteorological organization, IMRO, has issued a nationwide alert, and the governor of Khuzestan Province has declared an emergency. Two major dams in Khuzestan are already close to full capacity. Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian told state television: “It’s estimated that in the next five days, about 3 billion cubic meters of water will flow into dam reservoirs in Khuzestan due to rainfall… 1.8 billion of which will have to be released.” An Iranian official said the flooding had caused heavy financial losses to the Islamic Republic’s agriculture sector. A report on Friday by the Tehran-based newspaper Hamshahri quoted Seyyed Mohammad Mousavi, the head of the Agriculture Ministry’s crisis-management department, who estimated losses at $180 million.