While dozens of people have been dying and going missing in ongoing flash floods across Iran, survivors confronted President Ebrahim Raisi as he was visiting affected areas.
Videos of Raisi’s “unannounced” visit to Firouzkouh (Firuzkuh), one of the flood-hit areas north of Tehran, surfaced on social media Saturday evening showing people berating the president over empty promises and lack of dams or other needed infrastructure to protect their homes against such disasters.
People interrupted Raisi’s speech and told him that they have lost their homes and family members, criticizing him and the authorities for inaction and forgetting their hardship within a few days.
Estimated material damage so far has reacged $700 million according to official sources.
Rare summer monsoon rains and floods in Iran have wreaked havoc in many provinces, with at least 110 people dead or missing, amid the worst annual drought in recent memory.
According to official figures, as of Sunday, 70 to 80 people are confirmed killed in the floods, and at least 45 others missing. Twenty-four of Iran’s 31 provinces are affected by heavy rains and floods, with at least 20,000 homes destroyed.
Indian sub-continent summer monsoons usually bring some rain showers to Iran’s arid plateau, but every few decades the impact becomes more intense and causes flooding.
Partly due to the arid nature of the land and partly because of neglect in urban planning, even a modestly strong storm leads to deadly floods in Iran. Many dry riverbeds are choked off with construction or debris dumped by residents, leading to sudden flash floods in places no one expected.