News ID: 251401
Published: 0901 GMT April 14, 2019

Interior minister: Iran floods caused billions in damage

Interior minister: Iran floods caused billions in damage

Floods unleased by heavy rain across Iran in recent weeks have caused an estimated $8.3 billion in damage to roads, bridges, homes and agricultural land, state media cited ministers as telling lawmakers on Sunday.

The flooding, which began on March 19, has killed 76 people, forced more than 220,000 people into emergency shelters, and left aid agencies struggling to cope. The Armed Forces have been deployed to help those affected.

"The recent floods are unprecedented... 25 provinces and more than 4,400 villages have been affected," Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said in Parliament.

Fazli said the floods had caused around 350 trillion rials ($8.3 billion) worth of damage.

Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami said 14,000 kilometers of road had been damaged and more than 700 bridges completely destroyed by landslides and flood water.

The government has said it will pay compensation to all those who have incurred losses, especially farmers.

Morteza Shahidzadeh, the head of Iran's sovereign wealth fund, said President Hassan Rouhani had asked permission from Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to withdraw $2 billion from the fund for reconstruction in flood-hit areas.

Shahidzadeh said the Leader has in principle agreed to the request.

Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Friday some oilfields in southwestern Khuzestan Province had been shut down to control damage from floods and prevent possible environmental pollution.

Karim Zobeidi, an official at the National Iranian Oil Company, said on Sunday that it was still too early to estimate the extent of the flood damage to Iran's energy sector.

Zobeidi said that some oil wells in western Iran had been closed as a precaution to guard against any flooding.

Reuters and Press TV contributed to this story. 


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