18 people have been killed and many others have been injured in Tehran, Iran’s capital, as a result of fatal flash floods that struck early Thursday morning.
The Imamzadeh Davood district in northwest Tehran, home to a popular shrine that attracts locals and visitors alike, is said to be the most damaged, according to emergency services.
After extensive search and rescue efforts, the death toll has risen to six. A large number of people have also gone missing. Recent reports suggest state the death count has risen to 18.
Flash floods in Tehran’s mountainous Imamzadeh Davood neighborhood happened at 2:00 a.m. local time on Thursday (21:30 GMT) after heavy rains caused landslides and mudslides, officials said.
Several areas in western and southern Tehran were affected by flooding and mudslides as a result of the heavy rain, according to Iran Red Crescent Society Tehran president Shaheen Fathi. The mountainous Imamzadeh Davood area was the hardest hit.
There have been several rapid reaction and rescue teams dispatched to search for missing people, he said.
Imamzadeh Davood shrine, which is located near Tochal ski resort in the Alborz Mountains and dates back to the Safavid period (1501-1736), is one of Tehran’s most popular trekking trails.
During his visit to western Hamadan province, Iran President Ebrahim Raisi asked local authorities to help individuals impacted by recent flash floods, his office announced.
Iran, a country plagued by lengthy periods of drought, has seen severe floods on a regular basis, most commonly in the summer months.
Climate change has been blamed for the extreme weather patterns that have occurred in recent years.
At least 22 people have been killed in flash floods in Iran’s southern Fars region in the last few weeks as a result of heavy rains and flooding.
An estimated $2 billion worth of damage has been caused as a result of the devastating floods that have hit southern Iran this year.
A warning of more heavy rains on Saturday and Sunday has been issued by the state weather service, which urged people to avoid streams and river beds.