Flooding in northwest Iran kills at least 3

July 18th, 2011 - 8:50 pm ICT by BNO News  

TEHRAN (BNO NEWS) — Heavy flooding in northwestern Iran over the weekend has killed at least three people while a dozen more remain missing, state-run media reported on Monday.

The state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) said heavy rains in the country’s West Azarbaijan Province caused widespread flooding in more than 50 villages, damaging homes and businesses and causing a bridge to collapse.

IRNA said hundreds of rescue workers were assisting in rescue operations throughout the 50 worst affected villages, and Iranian officials described the damage to some areas as ‘unprecedented.’ Damage is estimated to be more than 200 billion rials ($18.8 million), and supplies were being sent in by helicopters to help those affected.

The news agency report said the flooding left at least three people killed, but the death toll is expected to rise as 12 people have been reported missing and are feared to have drowned. Fifteen people were rescued alive, and an unknown number of people were injured.

In August 2001, more than 100 people were killed and thousands were displaced when flash floods devastated parts of northeastern Iran. It followed floods in May 2001 which killed at least 32 people.

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