By Hamideh Taati
Iran’s Meteorological Organization (IMRO) has warned of strong winds and storms in the next two days after a new storm system moved into western Iran on Sunday.
They warned eleven provinces to expect strong rainstorms, high winds, overflowing rivers, and floods, while residents in central Iran, Yazd Isfahan, Qom, northern Fars and the Tehran region have been warned about winds with storm intensity.
In Khuzestan, the biggest concern is the Karkheh Dam, with authorities deciding to open the emergency floodgates to prevent an overflow. However, this has meant that the villages and towns in the path of the out-flowing water are now flooded and the area had to be evacuated.
Javad Kazem Nasabalbaji, a member of the regime’s parliament, said: “The Khuzestan Red Crescent lacks adequate aid material to provide for flood-hit areas. There are concerns about the possibility of people losing their lives in floods across this province.”
In Lorestan, five more people are reported to have died, with floodwaters overwhelming Noorabad and Dorood, while a nearby dam is almost full. The Deputy Governor of Lorestan said that at least 25,000 people must be evacuated. While in Kermanshah, an evacuation warning has been issued for 19,000 people living near rivers, according to Jalil Balaee general director of disaster management.
Iran has been battered by floods since the middle of last month and the Regime is reporting that 45 have died so far, although figures from the people stand at over 200.
One of the major problems is that there has been a lack of communication and coordination over dealing with the disaster.
In Ahvaz, government-controlled media reported that several areas of the city must be evacuated, but the governor denied these reports and any threat to the city. While a health official in Khuzestan said that the drinking water may be contaminated with sewage, but the general director of the water department said: “things are under control”.
These disputes are even evident in the highest levels with President Hassan Rouhani and the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) arguing over how to relieve floodwater in Golestan and Khuzestan provinces. The Guards are using explosives, which may do more harm than good.
Overall, the authorities at every level are unprepared to deal with the natural disaster, with no proper plans and no real budget to help. That is why many Iranians are forced to intervene themselves to save their friends and neighbours or to send food and medicine to their fellow citizens.