All entities of Iranian Armed Forces, from the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), the Iranian Army, Police, and the Defense Ministry, have sent units to the two Northern provinces of Mazandaran and Golestan to contribute to the rescue operations in aid of flood-hit residents.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri on Saturday issued instructions to commanders in the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), the Iranian Army, Police, and the Defense Ministry that forces under their command should continue “full and organized” assistance in flood-hit areas in a coordinated manner.
Iranian military forces had already been deployed to help with rescue efforts. But Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei earlier ordered Major General Baqeri to step up such assistance.
The Iranian military official appointed his deputy, Major General Ataollah Salehi, as the on-scene commander at the head of a group of high-ranking military chiefs to coordinate relief efforts between the Armed Forces and civilian organizations on the ground.
Heavy rains have pummeled Iran’s Northern provinces of Mazandaran, Golsetan, North Khorasan and Semnan in the past couple of days, swelling floods that have forced evacuations and caused damages to infrastructures.
At least 70 villages in Golestan and more than 200 in Mazandaran are inundated. Aqqala is the worst hit where landslides have killed two people, director general of Golestan province’s crisis management department Mojtaba Jamali said.
High water has forced evacuations of several small farm communities as all farmland has been swamped, according to local reports.
Footage from provinces of Golestan and Mazandaran showed massive flows of water running over roads and streets, with cars being washed away, people struggling to walk, and traffic being disrupted.
The flooding has claimed the lives of five people and destroyed hundreds of home over the past few days.
On Sunday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani ordered Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli to mobilize all means in the affected and neighboring provinces to provide immediate relief aid to people.