Several killed as floods hit Iran, Red Crescent society dispatches teams to assist affected communities

Published: 4 August 2015 11:30 CET

Unseasonable floods hit 16 provinces and 56 counties in the Islamic Republic of Iran in late July, leaving at least 23 people dead and 50 injured. The floods were triggered by torrential rains, and they caused great damage to the infrastructure of more than 140 villages.

The Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran was fast to respond to the disaster in close cooperation with local authorities, mobilising 263 teams of 1188 relief workers to embark on Search and Rescue missions and aid all those who were trapped in flood-hit areas. The National Society equipped its teams with three helicopters, 180 rescue sets, 110 water pumps and 10 sniffing dogs, while 261 light and heavy vehicles as well as ambulances were also made available to serve in the mission.

The primary focus of the organisation was to search for, rescue and evacuate people living in provinces where the floods struck, and it managed to provide rescue services to 11,000 persons, while 885 were sheltered in safer areas. The Red Crescent society also set up 94 relief tents and provided necessary and basic supplies for affected persons which included 1600 blankets, 365 rugs, 135 lanterns, 89 kitchen sets and 96 shelter kits. Mr Hussein Darvishi, deputy Head of the Relief and Rescue Organisation of the Red Crescent society, said that 8,600 bottles of water, 7,800 boxes of canned food, 8,200 loaves of bread, 120 kilogrammes of date and 3,300 boxes of biscuit were distributed to people in affected provinces.

The Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran was as well keen during its operation on connecting family members who might have been separated as a result of the disaster.

Mr Mohammad Damadi, a member of the Supreme Council of the Red Crescent, lauded the Red Crescent’s effective and timely humanitarian relief services to aid people affected by the floods, emphasising on the need to strengthen relief infrastructure in Mazandaran province.

As the largest humanitarian organisation in the country, the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran has become a leader and an expert in interventions during natural disasters, primarily because of its wide experience in this respect. Iran is an earthquake-prone country, and it also suffers harsh winters when snow buries large areas and puts people’s lives at risk. Nevertheless, the National Society has proven that its highly-trained and properly-equipped staff and volunteers are fully capable of responding to any kind of disaster to relief and rescue people, and of providing the much needed support to the most affected communities.