14 Dead, 45 Hurt in Sunday’s Storm

14 Dead, 45 Hurt  in Sunday’s Storm14 Dead, 45 Hurt  in Sunday’s Storm

Eight people in Tehran and six in Alborz died in the thunderstorm that struck several provinces on Sunday.

Nearly 45 people were injured and 20 are still missing, said Mojtaba Khaledi, spokesman for the National Emergency Services.

Nine provinces were hit hard by the storm which started at 7 p.m. local time. The wind speed was 80 km/h in the capital. Heavy rain also lashed several areas.

One of the eight people killed in Tehran on Imamzadeh Davood Road, Kan District, northwest of Tehran, included a Chinese national. Six were Iranians passing through the city during the Eid holidays and the other was a local resident, said Tehran Governor Isa Farhadi.

Tehran and Alborz provinces reported the highest number of injured people at 20 and 10 respectively. They were struck by falling trees and flying objects, Khaledi said, ISNA reported.

Emergency services also rescued a 24-year-old man who fell into the Kan River in Soolaqan area.

“At present we are searching for missing people; therefore the death toll may rise, although we pray there are no more fatalities.” The harsh environment in some parts is making search and rescue operations difficult, he said.

Cases of missing people in floods were reported in Imamzadeh Davood and Chalus roads in Tehran Province. The flooding, triggered by torrential rains, swept several cars off Chalus Road and into the nearby Karaj River. At least 25 cars remain missing, reports IRNA.

Khaledi said emergency stations had not been damaged by the storm and are prepared to offer assistance in the disaster areas.

 Heavy Losses

Director General of Relief and Rescue Operations at the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) Morteza Moradipour said, “So far, 5,000 people who were caught in the floods on Haraz and Chalus roads have been rescued and provided necessary relief services.”

Floods have caused heavy losses in the nine provinces of Tehran, Alborz, North Khorasan, Zanjan, Semnan, Kerman, Qazvin, Kurdistan and Mazandaran.

In Imamzadeh Davood Road, severe damage to a tunnel led to the closure of the road for several hours. The IRCS rescued 20 individuals who were trapped in the tunnel.

While the road has reopened, Chalus and Haraz roads still remain closed.

The rare summer storm caused disruption in Tehran’s traffic on a public holiday for Eid with power outage in several areas, and old trees falling.

The storm also hit families spending the day in parks or returning home after the four-day Eid al-Fitr holiday.