EghtesadOnline: Heavy raining and floods sweeping across much of Iranian provinces during Nowruz holidays are estimated to have caused about $470 million to the country’s agriculture and roads infrastructures ($350 million and around $120 million respectively).
Farms and agricultural products in 16 provinces incurred heavy damages, according to the director general of the Ministry of Agriculture's Crisis Management and Hazard Reduction Department.
The northern Golestan Province incurred 34% of the $350 million damage while Khuzestan, Mazandaran, Lorestan and Fars accounted for 13%, 12%, 11% and 6% of the loss. Kermanshah, Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmar, Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari, Isfahan, Hamedan, North Khorasan Semnan, Sistan-Baluchestan, Ilam, Kurdestan and Tehran accounted for the remaining 24%, Mohammad Mousavi was quoted by IRNA as saying.
About 49% of the overall damage to the agriculture sector was inflicted to the farming sector, 22% to water and soil resources as well as agro infrastructure, 16% to horticulture and 13% to livestock, poultry and fisheries sectors, Financial Tribune quoted the official as saying.
Head of the Iranian Nomadic Affairs Organization Karamali Qandali says nomads have lost close to 15,000 head of livestock during the recent floods.
“Nomads in Golestan Province incurred the biggest loss in this respect,” he said.
Mohammad Eslami, Minister of Roads and Urban Development says close to 12,000 kilometers of roads in the vicinity of rivers or water bodies have been damaged by submersion or soil and rock slides.
Shaban-Ali Khavari, an official with Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran says it is estimated that damages to road infrastructure will exceed $150 million.
“Over 400 bridges have been totally destroyed and around 5,000 have incurred partial damage. Road infrastructures in Lorestan, Golestan, Mazandaran, Khuzestan and North Khorasan provinces were damaged more than in other provinces,” he was quoted as saying.
The head of the Iranian Legal Medicine Organization told Fars News Agency on Friday that the disaster has left 67 people dead across the country.
“We lost 21 people in Fars, 15 in Lorestan, 8 in Golestan, 6 in Mazandaran, 5 in Hamedan, 3 in North Khorasan and 2 in Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmad, and one in Khuzestan, Kermanshah, Semnan, Khorasan Razavi and Qom each. Also, 2 people died in Rasht-Qazvin road due to landslide,” Ahmad Shojaei said.
Sweet Water Reserves Replenished
On the plus side, Reza Ardakaniyan Minister of Energy said on Tuesday that the recent rainfalls have added 5 billion cubic meters of sweet water to the country’s storage dam reserves.
“If we were to derive this water by sweetening sea water it would have cost us around $2.5 billion. We have 172 large dams, which are up to 75% full at the moment,” the news portal of the Energy Ministry reported.
The minister added that the precipitations and flood water have replenished 40 of the country’s main wetlands.
The European Commission announced on Thursday that it will dedicate an initial amount of €1.2 million in response to the devastating floods that have recently affected northern and south-western parts of Iran. The emergency funding will assist the most vulnerable communities.
Aid Flowing in
Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides said: “We stand in full solidarity with the Iranian people at this difficult time. Our thoughts are with the thousands of families affected by the deadly floods as well as with the brave responders on the ground. The EU will help deliver essential support in the impacted areas,” the European Commission reported on its website.
The new funding will support humanitarian partners, including the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in delivering relief assistance, which will allow the most-affected to cover their urgent needs.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has released around 500,000 Swiss francs ($500,000) as cash grants for 3,000 Iranian families who have lost homes and livelihoods in the floods
The Iranian government has also pledged to assist the victims' families by paying compensations.