Iran: Flood death toll reaches 62
Tehran, Apr 3: The death toll from major floods swamping much of Iran over the past 15 days has risen to 62, the head of the Iranian Legal Medicine Organisation told local media on Wednesday.
Ahmad Shojaee told the semi-official Fars news agency the southern province of Fars has been hit the hardest with 21 dead. The western province of Lorestan and the northern province of Golestan followed with 14 and 8 dead respectively, he said. Flood-related deaths have been reported in 11 out of Iran's 31 provinces, Shojaee added.
The semi-official ISNA news agency said the current toll was a tally of the victims whose bodies have been transferred to coroner offices across the country -- indicating the count could still rise. Iran has been hit by flooding across most of the country since March.
The country's northeast was swamped on March 19 before the west and southwest of the country were inundated on March 25, killing a total 45 people. Flooding in the west and southwest continued on April 1 when heavy rains returned to the area.
"Seventy-eight intercity roads have been blocked, as many as 2,199 rural roads and 84 bridges have been washed away," said Behnam Saeedi, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Organisation.
"Across 15 provinces, 141 rivers burst their banks and around 400 land slides were reported," he told state TV. The government said the flooding had damaged nearly 12,000 kilometres (7,500 miles) of roads, or 36 percent of the country's entire street network.