Two days of flooding near the Iranian capital have killed at least 24 people and another 19 are still missing, officials said on Friday.
“Because of strong rain and floods in the village of Emamzadeh Davoud to the west and the Firouzkouh, Roudehen and Damavand regions east of Tehran, 24 people are dead,” a Red Crescent statement said. “A search and rescue operation for 19 missing persons is ongoing,” it added.
The flash flooding near Tehran, in the foothills of the Alborz mountains, comes less than a week after floods in the normally dry south of Iran left 22 people dead. Largely arid Iran has suffered from repeated drought over the past decade, but also from regular flooding after torrential rainfall.
In Firouzkouh east of the capital 10 people lost their lives, 12 were injured and 16 are missing, Tehran governor Mohsen Mansouri told state television. He said the area “suffered the most damage because of a mountain landslide”.
A preliminary official toll on Thursday put the number of dead at seven with 14 missing in Emamzadeh Davoud, a tourist destination just outside Tehran, and the Damavand region.
On Friday, interior minister Ahmad Vahidi told state television the flooding had hit 18 provinces, among them Alborz, Isfahan, Markazi, Tehran and Yazd. He said in Yazd in central Iran, “roads were flooded, especially in the old city”, a UNESCO world heritage site.
The Red Crescent warned people in an SMS message sent on Thursday to avoid rivers and mountainous areas until Monday.
In 2019, heavy rains in southern Iran killed at least 76 people and caused damage estimated at more than $2 billion.