Los Angeles Times

Iran death toll rises amid flooding

At least 53 are killed as heavy rain strikes across the country.

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TEHRAN — Iran on Friday raised the death toll from landslides and flash floods this week across the country to at least 53, including those killed in a mudslide in the capital the previous day, state TV reported.

More than 30 people died in two villages northwest and northeast of Tehran after a monsoon dumped heavy rain that triggered mudslides there, the report said. Almost two dozen people died in eight other provinces, and 21 of Iran’s 31 provinces were affected by the heavy rain.

There were fears the death toll could rise further as at least 16 people remained missing and more bodies were being uncovered after the rains abated. The report said military personnel had joined rescue efforts and were helping transfer thousands from remote areas to safer places.

Last Saturday, flash floods in Iran’s droughtstr­icken southern Fars province killed at least 22 people and affected about a dozen villages.

This week’s storms are the deadliest among Iran’s rain-related incidents in the last decade.

In 2019, a f lash f lood killed at least 21 people in the southern city of Shiraz, and two years earlier, a similar storm claimed 48 lives in northweste­rn Iran.

Mudslides in northern Iran in 2001 and in Tehran in 1987 killed 500 and 300 people, respective­ly.

Before Thursday’s mudslide, authoritie­s had warned residents of Tehran’s mountainou­s areas about heavy rains and possible floods. More heavy rains were expected in coming days.

Authoritie­s have blamed the high death toll on a wide disregard of safety measures by people who venture out in the storms, while critics cite mismanagem­ent in constructi­on projects as well as late warnings as other causes.

 ?? Vahid Salemi Associated Press ?? A MAN wades along a f looded path in Imamzadeh Davood, a village north of Tehran. Heavy rain has inundated 21 of Iran’s 31 provinces in recent days.
Vahid Salemi Associated Press A MAN wades along a f looded path in Imamzadeh Davood, a village north of Tehran. Heavy rain has inundated 21 of Iran’s 31 provinces in recent days.

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