Snow cuts power to 480,000 Iranian homes, gas pressure dropping

DUBAI (Reuters) - Heavy snow has left more than 480,000 homes in northern Iran without power and gas supply pressure is falling in some cities, Iran's Energy Ministry news service said on Monday.

Cold weather has spread across much of the country over the last few days and hit northern provinces particularly hard, the Shana news service said.

Rescue teams have been sent to help people trapped in towns in Mazandaran province, the director of power supplies in the region bordering the south coast of the Caspian Sea told Shana.

Iran has huge gas reserves and exports small quantities to Turkey but it has been unable to raise production quickly enough to meet its own voracious appetite for fuel.

Northern Iran relies heavily on gas imports from Turkmenistan, especially for heating in winter.

It was not clear whether the fall in gas pressure in the region was due to lower supplies or a spike in demand.

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