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EghtesadOnline: Communication infrastructure sustained nearly 15 trillion rials ($113 million) in damages from the floods sweeping across much of Iranian provinces during and after the Norouz holidays.

ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi told ISNA, “Heavy rains and flooding caused 15 trillion rials ($111 million) in damages to the telecom infrastructure. Lorestan Province was the hardest hit.”

Devastating floods hit several Iranian provinces during the past two weeks, claiming the lives of at least 70 people, according to head of Iran Legal Medicine Organization.

“Floods killed 21 people in Fars Province and 14 in Lorestan Province...others were in the northern provinces of Golestan and Mazandaran; North Khorasan, Khorasan Razavi, Khuzestan,  Hamedan, Semnan, Kermanshah and Kohgilouyeh-Bouyerahmad provinces," Ahmad Shojaei, told reporters in Tehran, according to Financial Tribune.

 

 

Disrupted Communications

Heavy rainfall began two weeks ago, overflowing rivers, washing away bridges, inundating houses and destroying infrastructure in 24 provinces.

During the deluge, communication services were disrupted in several provinces. For instance on April 1 flooding cut off three optic fiber lines connecting Ilam Province in the west to the worldwide web for about 24 hours. The lines were repaired soon.

Communication services were disrupted in Pol-e Dokhtar county in Lorestan Province during the past week for several days. 

Jahromi said, “Floods inflicted 3.5 trillion rials ($26 million) in damages to telecom infrastructure of Pol-e Dokhtar county.”

To partially restore communication services in the area the ministry deployed communications balloons in Pol-e Dokhtar.

Employing emergency communication balloons are commonplace in the world. In October 2018, Google brought emergency connectivity to Puerto Rico through its Internet-by-balloon project after the Irma and Maria hurricanes flattened vast areas and left more than 90% of the island without cellphone coverage.

 

 

Other Losses 

The floods also caused estimated losses of $470 million to Iranian agriculture and road infrastructure.

Mohammad Eslami, the minister of roads and urban development says close to 12,000 km of roads in the vicinity of rivers or water bodies have been damaged by soil submersion and falling rocks.

Shaban-Ali Khavari, an official with the Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization said losses to road infrastructure could well be north of $150 million.

“Over 400 bridges have been totally destroyed and 5,000 have incurred partial damage. Road infrastructure in Lorestan, Golestan, Mazandaran, Khuzestan, and North Khorasan provinces were damaged more compared to other provinces,” he said.

 

Floods Iran Norouz Holidays Telecom Infrastructure ravage Communication infrastructure