At least 86 people were killed, while tens of thousands were displaced as floods and heavy rains hit across four countries including Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, news reports said.
In Iran, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli said on Monday that some 400 villages and towns across 15 provinces were flooded following weeks of torrential downpours. More rains were predicted for the next two days. At least 44 people have been killed in heavy rains and flooding that have battered Iran, with tens of thousands of families displaced.
Meanwhile in Afghanistan, another 41 people were killed in the west, where nearly 13,000 houses have been either partially or completely destroyed across four provinces.
“Millions of people need both immediate, life-saving humanitarian assistance, and a way out of this protracted crisis,” said Afghan Red Crescent Secretary-General Nilab Mobarez. “The floods are the latest disaster to bitterly test the resilience of people already stretched to breaking point by drought.”
In south Iraq, villagers were forced to evacuate their homes due to the flooding. Emergency preparations were made.
In Iran’s southwest Lorestan province, several major dams were in danger of overflowing, while hundreds of bridges have been washed away and thousands of roads blocked by the flooding. More than 140 rivers across the country breached their banks and overflowed.
However, the head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, the local affiliate of the International Red Cross, warned that US sanctions on the country’s banking sector were hindering the delivery of international donations.