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Iran: Floods caused by heavy rains killed at least 76 people

The floods that have hit Iran for nearly a month have left 76 dead and caused damage to about 2 billion euros, according to new official estimates released Sunday while the east of the country remains on alert. "The toll has risen to 76 with the deaths of five people in the floods in Khuzestan province and another in the province of Ilam", it says in a statement published on the website of the national forensic institute.

Read alsoAfter the drought, Iran hit hard by floods

New rains on Saturday

Located in the Southwest, Khuzestan and Ilam are the last provinces to have been struck by the floods caused by the torrential rains that hit Iran since March 19th. These storms forced the authorities to evacuate a total of several hundred thousand people. Saturday, new rains fell on the east of the country, largely desert. The flood alert remains in effect this Sunday in these regions.

Quoted by the official Irna news agency, Interior Minister Abdol Rahmani Fazli told the parliament on Sunday that 25 of the country's 31 provinces have been affected by the floods and that the damage amounted to between 300,000 and 350,000 billion. Iranian rials (between 1.93 and 2.25 billion euros at the open market rate).

725 bridges destroyed

During the same flood session, Minister of Transport and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami told MPs that "More than 14,000 kilometers of roads" had been damaged and «725 bridges […] totally destroyed ». The agricultural sector has also been hit hard.

According to the head of national meteorology, Sahar Tajbakhch, the floods are due "To climate change and global warming" of the planet, and do not necessarily mean the end of the chronic drought affecting Iran, according to the semi-official Isna news agency.

Several countries have sent material aid to Iran to help it deal with the scourge. The French Embassy in Tehran said Saturday it gave to the Iranian Red Crescent "114 motor pumps and 210 tents" to help him cope with the situation.

LIBERATION with AFP

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