As winter returns, Red Crescent volunteers mobilise to aid families trapped in snow-covered cities in Iran

Publicado: 13 noviembre 2014 10:08 CET

The first heavy snow of the season in Iran covered 11 provinces in a thick white coat, forcing more than 2,500 people to evacuate their homes with the help of the volunteers of the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRCS) while movement inside and in between cities was prevented due to the extreme weather conditions that rendered the roads unsafe for travelling.

Dr Naser Charkhsaz, deputy Head of IRCS Relief and Rescue unit, said rescue and humanitarian workers have provided services to those trapped in the snow when the storm hit different parts of the country in the last week of October.

"Eleven provinces in the country including Eastern Azerbaijan and Western Azerbaijan, Isfahan, Ardabil, Zanjan, Mazandaran, Qazvin, Kurdistan, Semnan, Golestan, and Gilan were affected by snow and blizzard," Dr Charkhsaz said.

The Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran sources announced that 44 IRCS teams consisting of 160 rescuers have so far rendered services to more than 2,500 people. 

“More than 2,000 people were evacuated in 11 provinces due to the heavy snowfalls and blizzards,” IRCS representative Mr Hussein Derahshan said.

“500 people received temporary emergency sheltering while six persons were transferred to nearby medical centres,” IRCS sources added.

Mr Derahshan noted that classes were also suspended in the cities of Sereyn, Ardabil and Nir in the province of Ardebil, and in Firozkoh city of Tehran due to heavy snow.

Meanwhile, Dr Charkhsaz said IRCS volunteers have also provided help for 200 vehicles which were trapped in the snow.

“Our teams remain mobilised and are delivering rescue and relief services on the roads linking Zanjan to Mahneshan, Zanjan to Qazvin, Zanjan to Tarom and Khodabande to Hamadan as many provinces in the country continue to face unstable weather conditions and heavy precipitation,” he said.

The October snow reached up to ten centimetres in thickness in some regions in Iran. The Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran teams are on high alert and fully prepared every year to meet the rising urgent needs as the country is known for its harsh and stormy winter.

Back in February 2014, thousands of people were left with great needs as a record-breaking snowstorm hit 26 provinces. IRCS volunteers then reached out to more than 11,000 people, providing them with shelter, food, medicines and medical supplies.