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Rising floodwaters force more evacuations in Iran

Around 400,000 people are at risk in Khuzestan province.

Flooding in Khorramabad, in Iran’s western province of Lorestan (Saeed Soroush/Tasnim News Agency/AP)
Flooding in Khorramabad, in Iran’s western province of Lorestan (Saeed Soroush/Tasnim News Agency/AP)

Iranian authorities have ordered the evacuation of six more towns in the south-western province of Khuzestan, which is widely inundated with floods.

Gholamreza Shariati, the provincial governor, told state TV rescue teams are taking residents to nearby shelters, including three army barracks.

Evacuation orders came as a new round of raining and floods is expected.

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Floodwaters engulf the city of Khorramabad in the western province of Lorestan, Iran (Erfan Keshvari/ISNA/AP)

Mr Shariati said emergency discharges from dams and reservoirs were adding to the high floodwaters, but such measures were essential to prevent the dams from overflowing or catastrophic breaches, with river waters continuing to rise upstream from the province.

Young men were asked to stay behind to help with rescue operations.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said some 400,000 people are at risk, out of the province’s population of five million.

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Houses submerged by floodwaters in the town of Mamoulan, Lorestan (Bayat Azadbakht/ISNA/AP)

Eleven towns and scores of villages have been already evacuated. There have been no evacuation orders for major cities, including the province’s capital of Ahvaz, which has 1.7 million residents.

There have been no reports of damage to the province’s petroleum facilities, which account for roughly 80% of Iran’s oil production.

Authorities have put the number of dead at 70, as major flooding has hit the western half of the country, after years of drought.

PA

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