Ahvaz Evacuated as Floods Continue in Iran
By Hamideh Taati
The floods that have been plaguing Iran since March 17 have now reached the south-western city of Ahvaz in oil rich Khuzestan Province, with the Governor of Khuzestan ordering that five regions of the city - Eyn Do, Goldasht, Siahi, Sadat and Salim Abad - be evacuated yesterday, following blackouts caused by the floods.
Other officials are saying that the Kianshahr and Malayesheh districts should be on alert and ready to evacuate.
Over 100,000 people living on the outskirts of the city, who were already suffering from extreme poverty, are thought to be affected by the floods.
Seyed Mohsen Mousavi, the Khuzestan Representative in the Supreme Council of Provinces said that flood barriers broke and water from the overflowing Karkheh River entered Kianshahr through the Salman Channel at the entrance of Ahvaz, and surrounded the Ghadir Stadium and engulfed the Police Square. The water was the diverted to the populous Ein Do and Malashieh regions.
Mousavi said: “The Salman Channel should not have been opened towards Ahvaz and this measure was extremely wrong.”
He explained that the 24,000 people living on the fringes were not warned about the diversion of the water, which endangered their lives.
He said: “Even if Karoun River had inundated the water would not have reached this area but unfortunately they were taken off guard by Karkheh River and then warned the locals to evacuate.”
The floods have so far caused 234 villages to be evacuated, with 6,700 homes damaged and 51,000 other homes facing flood damage, according to the regime’s Crisis Management Department. Nearly 300 people are reported to have died, although the Regime is covering that up to make themselves look better.
Throughout the crisis, there has been no help from the government with regards to aid distribution, rescue efforts, or the erection of flood barriers. (They sent the Revolutionary Guards in to quell protests about the last of aid, instead.)
Locals in Eyn Do said: “Authorities from the oil company came to supposedly repair the floodgates but all we saw was that they were only taking pictures. We told them that we need soil but they didn’t care at all.”
She wrote: “I urge the freedom-loving youths and members of resistance units and councils to not lose any opportunity in helping the flood-hit families. Help the people organize their popular councils which is the only solution for prevailing over this devastating flood.”
Meanwhile Naser Saraj, the head of the country’s Inspection Organization announced in Tehran that flood damages had been increased by “mistakes and man-made elements”.