Iran flood death toll reaches 62

An Iranian woman walks through a flooded street in the city of Poldokhtar in the Lorestan province, April 02, 2019. PHOTO: AFP
An aerial view of flooding in Golestan province, Iran, March 22, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS
Damaged vehicles are seen after a flash flooding in Shiraz, Iran, March 26, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

TEHERAN (AFP) - The death toll from major floods swamping much of Iran over the past 15 days has risen to 62, the head of the Iranian Legal Medicine Organisation told local media on Wednesday (April 3).

Ahmad Shojaee told the semi-official Fars news agency the southern province of Fars has been hit the hardest with 21 dead.

The western province of Lorestan and the northern province of Golestan followed with 14 and eight dead respectively, he said.

Flood-related deaths have been reported in 11 out of Iran's 31 provinces, Shojaee added.

The semi-official ISNA news agency said the current toll was a tally of the victims whose bodies have been transferred to coroner offices across the country - indicating the count could still rise.

Iran has been hit by flooding across most of the country since March.

The country's northeast was swamped on March 19 before the west and south-west of the country were inundated on March 25, killing a total 45 people.

Flooding in the west and southwest continued on April 1 when heavy rains returned to the area.

"Seventy-eight intercity roads have been blocked, as many as 2,199 rural roads and 84 bridges have been washed away," said Behnam Saeedi, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Organisation.

"Across 15 provinces, 141 rivers burst their banks and around 400 land slides were reported," he told state TV.

The government said the flooding had damaged nearly 12,000km of roads, or 36 per cent of the country's entire street network.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.