Seventy people have died in a deadly flood in Iran after record rainfalls began in over 13 parts of the country last month, local Irani media reported.
According to Al Jazeera, deaths have been recorded across 13 provinces, with the highest casualties in Fars, Lorestan, Golestan and Hamedan.
Record rainfalls since March 19 have flooded about 1,900 cities and villages across Iran, causing hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to water and agriculture infrastructures, Al Jazeera reported.
The news outlet reported that over 140 rivers burst their banks and over 400 landslides have been reported throughout the country.
Evacuation notices are being urged to be taken seriously as showers continue. Unfortunately, while the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent are on the scene aiding victims, US sanctions have prevented the Iranian Red Crescent from obtaining any foreign financial aid to assist victims of flooding.
“Red Crescent volunteers and staff have evacuated hundreds of people to safety, and have distributed food and items such as tents, blankets and health kits to tens of thousands of people,” the organization’s Middle East and North Africa director, Sayed Hashem, said.
On April 2, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement extending condolences to the victims of the flooding in Iran and blaming its government for the disaster however failed to address the sanctions in place affecting disaster and aid relief.
The speaker of Iran’s Parliament, Ali Larijani reiterated Tehran’s accusations that the US is hindering the delivery of relief aid from the International Red Cross to Iran’s Red Crescent Society. “Iran has not received even a dollar from the Red Cross due to US measures and sanctions,” Mehr News quoted him as saying.
“These floods once again show the level of Iranian regime mismanagement in urban planning and in emergency preparedness. The regime blames outside entities when, in fact, it is their mismanagement that has led to this disaster,” he said. “The United States stands ready to assist and contribute to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which would then direct the money through the Iranian Red Crescent for relief.”
International officials and Iran’s Foreign Minister are upset with the lack of support the US is showing in during this natural disaster. responded angrily on Twitter two days later.
“It seems the US Secretary of State is unaware of the mismanagement of natural disasters in the US over the past two years, and hence opines — in an unprofessional, interventionist and demagogic manner — on Iran’s management of the horrific and unprecedented floods which simultaneously afflicted 24 provinces,” Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said.