Flooding in southern Iran has killed at least 22 people.
Flooding in southern Iran has killed at least 22 people and left others missing following heavy rainfall in the largely arid country, state media reported on Saturday.
Iran has endured repeated droughts over the past decade, but also regular floods, a phenomenon made worse when torrential rain falls on sun-baked earth.
Videos posted on local and social media showed vehicles being carried away by the rising waters of the Roodball river in the southern province of Fars. One video showed adults pulling a child from a car as it began to shift downstream.
“Twenty-one people were killed and two are still missing,” in the floods that affected several towns in and around Estahban county, Hossein Darvishi, provincial head of the Red Crescent Society, was quoted as saying by state TV.
The governor of Estahban, Yousef Kargar, said “around 17:00 yesterday, heavy rains … in the central parts of Estahban County led to flooding,” according to state news agency IRNA.
The incident happened 174 kilometres east of the provincial capital Shiraz on a summer weekend in Iran, when families tend to head to cooler areas such as rivers, lakes and valleys.
“A number of local people and sightseers (from other areas) who had gone to the riverside and were present in the river bed were caught in the flood due to the rise in the water level,” Kargar added.
Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber called on the governor of Fars province to open an investigation into the incident and “to compensate the families of the victims,” according to IRNA.
Photos released by Iran’s Red Crescent Society showed rescue workers walking on cracked dry soil while others searched among reeds.