Iran flood death toll rises to 76

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Tehran, April 15: Seventy-six people have been killed in Iran by floods in recent weeks, according to a new toll published on Sunday, with warnings still in place for large swathes of the country.
“With the death of five people in the Khuzestan province flood and another person in Ilam province, the death toll, since March 19, has now reached 76,” according to a statement published online by the coroner’s office.
The two southwestern provinces have been overwhelmed by floods that first hit the northeast of the usually arid country, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate from cities and villages.
Officials have again issued flood warnings for the east of Iran with heavy rains that began on Saturday forecasted to continue.
The floods have caused immense damage to homes, roads, infrastructure and agriculture.
“More than 14,000 kilometres (8,700 miles) of roads have been damaged,” transport minister Mohammad Eslami told parliament, according to the official IRNA news agency. “725 bridges have been totally destroyed,” he added.
The head of Iran’s meteorology service told the same parliamentary session that the floods do not necessarily mean that a decades-long drought has ended.
“The recent floods were due to climate change and global warming,” Sahar Tajbakhsh said.
The Islamic republic has received aid from neighbouring countries and further afield, with France on Saturday donating 210 tents and 114 pumps. (AFP)