Governor of flood-hit Khuzestan province says residents are being moved to shelters
Authorities in Iran are evacuating six more towns in the flood-hit south-western province of Khuzestan, Iranian state TV has reported.
Gholamreza Shariati, the provincial governor, said rescue teams were taking residents to nearby shelters on Saturday, including three army barracks.
The evacuation orders came as a new round of flooding was expected.
Shariati said emergency discharges from dams and reservoirs were adding to the high floodwaters, but such measures were essential to prevent catastrophic breaches, with river waters continuing to rise upstream from the province.
Young men were asked to remain behind to help with rescue operations.
The interior minister, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, told state TV that about 400,000 people were at risk out of the province’s population of 5 million.
Eleven towns and scores of villages have already been evacuated. There have been no evacuation orders for major cities, including the province’s capital, 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 people, as major flooding hit the western half of the country, after years of drought.
Heavy damage from the floods has been blamed in part on widespread disregard for safety regulations in the construction of buildings and roads near rivers.
(This story originally appeared on The Guardian)