24 people died and 19 are missing in two days due to severe flooding near the capital Tehran

At least 24 people are dead and another 19 are missing after two days of flooding near the Iranian capital, officials said Friday.

“Twenty-four people have died due to heavy rains and floods in the village of Imamzade Dawood in the west and in the areas of Ferozkoh, Rudihan and Damavand in the east of Tehran,” a Red Crescent statement said. “The search and rescue operation for the 19 missing persons is going on,” he added.

The flooding in the foothills of the Alborz Mountains near Tehran comes less than a week after floods in Iran’s normally dry south killed 22 people. Mostly arid Iran has suffered from frequent droughts over the past decade, but also from regular floods after heavy rains.

Tehran Governor Mohsin Mansouri told state television that 10 people were killed, 12 wounded and 16 missing in Firuzkoh, east of the capital. He said that this area has suffered the most due to landslides.

An initial official tally on Thursday put the death toll at seven, with 14 missing, in the Damavand region, a tourist destination just outside Tehran.

On Friday, Interior Minister Ahmed Wahidi told state television that 18 provinces have been affected by the floods, including Alborz, Isfahan, Markazi, Tehran and Yazd. “The streets were flooded, especially in the old city,” he said in Yazd in central Iran, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In an SMS message sent out on Thursday, the Red Crescent warned people to avoid rivers and mountainous areas until Monday.

In 2019, heavy rains in southern Iran killed at least 76 people and caused more than $2 billion in damage.

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