Flooding in Iran kills 24 in two days

Two days of flooding near the Iranian capital killed at least 24 people and left 19 more missing, officials said Friday.

“Due to heavy rain and flooding in the village of Emamzade Davud in the west and in the regions of Firuzkuh, Rudekhen and Damavand to the east of Tehran, 24 people died,” the Red Crescent said in a statement.

“The search and rescue of 19 missing people continues,” the statement said.

The flash flood near Tehran, in the foothills of the Alborz Mountains, came less than a week after floods in Iran’s usually dry south killed 22 people.

Largely arid Iran has suffered from repeated droughts over the past decade, as well as regular flooding following heavy rains.

In Firouzka, east of the capital, 10 people were killed, 12 injured and 16 missing, Tehran Governor Mohsen Mansouri told state television.

He said the area “suffered the most damage due to a mountain landslide.”

Preliminary official figures released Thursday put the death toll at seven, with 14 missing in Emamzade Dawood, a tourist center near Tehran, and in the Damavand district.

On Friday, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi told state television that the flooding had affected 18 provinces, including Alborz, Isfahan, Markazi, Tehran and Yazd.

He said that 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 sent on Thursday to avoid rivers and mountainous areas until Monday.

In 2019, heavy rains in southern Iran claimed the lives of at least 76 people, with damage estimated at more than $2 billion.