Heavy rains and subsequent flash floods in three cities of Iran’s southwestern Fars province left at least 21 dead on Friday while a search operation is ongoing for several missing people.
People in the cities of Darab, Neyriz, and Estahban and about 10 of their surrounding villages in the Fars province were affected by floods.
Hossein Darvishi, the CEO of Red Crescent Society of Fars Province, said 74 people were rescued from the flooded areas.
Estahban’s governor, Yousef Kargar, criticized the province’s meteorological organization for not issuing any warning about the precipitation.
In response to this criticism, the Meteorological Organization of Fars Province said it announced on Wednesday evening, July 20, the possibility of showers and thunderstorms for Friday.
In March 2018, a flash flood in the province led to the death of 44 people.
The director of Crisis Management of the province’s governorate, Khalil Abdollahi, said that at least 15 cars were also stranded in the flood.
Iran has been suffering from drought for at least a decade and this year officials have been warning of a further decrease in precipitation. However, Iran’s metrology department had warned about possibly heavy seasonal rainfall across the country. The dangers of flash floods have been exacerbated by the widespread construction of buildings and roads near riverbeds.