Snowfalls, Heavy Rains, Strong Winds Sweep Across Iran

Snowfalls, Heavy Rains, Strong Winds Sweep Across Iran
Snowfalls, Heavy Rains, Strong Winds Sweep Across Iran

As many as 22 of Iran’s 31 provinces reported thick snow, pouring rain and fierce winds this week, with officials warning that extreme weather conditions were likely to persist until the end of the week. 
Search and rescue teams have so far assisted 635 affected by the swirling snow, head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society’s Relief and Rescue Organization, Mahdi Valipour, was quoted as saying by IRNA. 
The IRCS teams were put on alert at the start of week when the Iran Meteorological Organization issued nationwide warnings for adverse conditions.
Of the 22 provinces affected, people in six required rescue operations. 
“Two pregnant women were transferred to medical centers,” Valipour said, adding that his forces had freed some 140 vehicles stuck in the blizzard. 
Food packages had also been distributed by 20 teams comprised of a total of 65 members among those stranded by the heavy snow. 
According to Valipour, lashing rain would move to western and southern provinces by Wednesday and advised citizens to refrain from making unnecessary trips. 
“We ask citizens to avoid mountain climbing and to heed warnings given by related organizations,” he said. 
Freezing rain and snow in roads located in northern regions of the country have cut visibility and made roads treacherous. 
Inter-city traffic has declined by 8.5%, compared to a day earlier, due to unfavorable weather conditions.
Iran has experienced little rainfall during autumn this year and this week’s heavy rain and snow were welcomed by dams running dry across the country. 



Dry Spell 

This week’s downpour was not sufficient to alleviate concerns about the severe dry spell across Iran, threatening agriculture and livelihood in major parts of the country. 
In the 75 days since the start of autumn, the rainfall and snow storms of the past few days were the first signs of the arrival of colder seasons.
There has been a 16% drop in rainfall in the long-term and a 25-75% decline in water reserves, underscoring the extreme drought the country faces, according to a recent report. 
In an unprecedented move, authorities are considering rationing water this winter in the capital Tehran as water levels in the dams hit record lows.  
Years of land and water mismanagement have finally caught up with Iran as the Middle Eastern nation scrambles to tackle sandstorms, drought, air pollution and wildfires all year round.

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