Flash floods kill at least 21 in southern Iran

Flash floods in Iran’s drought-stricken southern Fars province have killed at least 21 people, state television said on Saturday.

Heavy rains swelled the Roudbal River near the town of Estahban, according to town governor Yousef Karegar.

Karegar said rescue teams rescued 55 people who were trapped by the flash floods, but at least six people were still missing.

The floods affected more than 10 villages in the province, he said.

Rescuers search for people missing following flash floods in the drought-stricken southern province of Fars. (Iranian Red Crescent Society/Associated Press)

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi shared his condolences with the families of the flood victims, state television later reported.

Iran’s meteorology department had warned of heavy seasonal rainfall across the country which is facing a decades-long drought. The dangers of flash floods have also been exacerbated by the widespread construction of buildings and roads near riverbeds.

In March 2018, a flash flood in Fars province killed 44 people.

Rescuers work Saturday after flooding in Estahban County. The floods affected more than 10 villages in Fars province, a local official said. (Iranian Red Crescent Society/WANA (West Asian News Agency)/Reuters)