Flooding in southern Iran has killed at least 22 people and left one person missing after torrential rains in the largely desert country, according to a local official.
Officials from the local Red Crescent Society relief group confirmed the deaths on Saturday, saying that 150 rescue responders and an airborne unit are on the scene in Estahban, 174 kilometers (108 miles) east of Shiraz, the provincial capital.
According to the state news agency, the governor of Estahban, Yousef Kargar, torrential rainfall on Friday in the central parts of Estahban county caused the floods.
Videos released on local and social media showed cars being swept away by rising waves while parents attempted to rescue their children from the vehicles.
According to Khalil Abdollahi, head of the province’s crisis management department, at least 55 individuals were saved in the flood, which drowned 15 cars.
The floods occurred on a summer weekend in Iran, when families sought refuge in cooler areas such as riverbanks, lakeshores, and valleys.
When severe rains hit Fars in January, two people were killed in flash flooding, but the death toll grew to at least eight there and elsewhere in Iran’s south.
Protests against river drying have taken place, mainly in central and southwestern Iran.