Iran: Death toll from flooding rises to 62 as US hinders aid

4th Apr 2019
Iran: Death toll from flooding rises to 62 as US hinders aid

By Muhammet Kursun

 

TEHRAN (AA): The death toll from a wave of flooding across Iran has reached 62, local officials said Wednesday as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused the U.S. of preventing humanitarian aid from reaching flood-hit parts of the country.

Ahmad Shojaei, head of Iran’s forensic medicine directorate, said at least 62 people had lost their lives while another 478 had been injured.

A state of emergency has been declared in the southwestern Khuzestan province, while 96 villages near the Dez and Karkheh rivers were evacuated.

According to local officials, the spate of flooding has caused an estimated $170 million in material damage.

Mortaza Salemi, head of the Iranian Red Crescent, said earlier that humanitarian aid had been dispatched to 293 flood-hit cities and villages across the country.

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in a message announced that initial aid to Iranian flood-stricken people are on the way.

‘Initial supplies from @UNICEF_IRAN are already on their way to #Iran to help the Ministry of Health ensure immunization and young child nutrition services are quickly re-established in several flood-affected provinces,’ UNICEF office tweeted.

“The U.S. has hampered humanitarian aid from other countries from reaching flood victims,” IRNA quoted Rouhani as saying Wednesday.

In an earlier statement released by Iran’s Foreign Ministry, ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi likewise accused the U.S. of “blocking humanitarian assistance to flood-hit areas”.

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. “stands ready to assist and contribute to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which would then direct funds through the Iranian Red Crescent”.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded by calling Pompeo’s offer “fake news”.

* Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

Additional report from IRNA news agency

[Photo: An aerial view of earlier flood-hit areas in Golestan Province in northern Iran on March 21, 2019.
Photograph: Presidency of Iran/Handout/AA]

One Response to “Iran: Death toll from flooding rises to 62 as US hinders aid”

Kevin Van LaekenApril 11, 2019

Could you please report on the veracity of the US “hampering” any relief efforts. It doesn’t do any good to just report rhetoric without investigation.

Reply

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