EghtesadOnline: Heavy snow in northern Gilan Province in the last few days has killed seven people, blocked roads and cut off electricity to 200,000 subscribers.
About 200 villages have no power, many of them are trapped under thick snow. Access to rural areas remains blocked due to the long distance from main snow-covered roads and difficult terrain, Mehr News Agency reported.
State TV has been broadcasting scenes of the snow trapped regions and heavy snow removal equipment clearing highways and mountainous roads and helping trapped vehicles, according to Financial Tribune.
Radio and TV programs had earlier warned the people to avoid travel, but as usual the calls were ignored.
Talesh, Siahkal, Rudsar, Lahijan, Sowme’eh Sara, Langarud, Amlash, Rezvanshahr and Rasht counties have been enveloped by the rare snowfall. Since the beginning of the week schools remain closed due to the snow and freezing temperatures.
The lowest temperature recorded in Gilan on Tuesday was 14 degrees below zero in Deylaman City in Siahkal County. Other cities also had sub-zero temperatures. Rasht, Lahijan and Talesh recorded -9, -5 and -2 degrees respectively as their coldest temperatures on Tuesday.
Due to frozen pipes, water supply has also been cut off and some households do not have gas.
Heavy snowfall, which began on Saturday in the western, northern and northwestern provinces once again caught officials unawares.
Some roads, including the Qazvin-Rasht roadway, were blocked by the freak weather and motorists were trapped. Rasht airport reported long delays and several flights were cancelled due to the extreme weather.
Earlier reports said snow and strong winds dumped over one meter of snow on the northernmost parts of Rasht, capital of Gilan.
Seven people were reported killed by Wednesday afternoon in Gilan. Five were buried under an avalanche in Rudbar County and two died after ceiling in Rasht collapsed. A total of 85 people have been injured.
Of the total 1.5 million electricity subscribers in the northern region, about 200,000 (13%) are disconnected from the network.
Over 200 relief and rescue teams from Gilan and the neighboring Mazandaran Province are trying to fix the distribution and transmission network.
Although work is marred due to the cold weather and bad conditions of roads, the teams are expected to restore the gas links by Friday.
Besides Gilan, some western and northwestern regions have also been affected by the snow. In the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan, six meters of snow fell on Qarah Bolagh village in Mahabad County.
The unprecedented snowstorms have blocked the Mahabad-Bukan roadway in the province for several days.