Iran floods death toll reaches 70

Iran moved on Saturday to evacuate more towns and villages threatened by floods

The top military chief, however, noted that despite what some western countries expected, the great people of Iran, who have proved their unity in the face of hardships, are firmly standing by the rescue teams and the armed forces, to help their flood-affected compatriots.

Around 70 villages in the province have already been evacuated in the past week.

Heavy rains in Iran began on March 19, affecting around 1,900 cities, towns and villages.

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

The catastrophic floods have caused major damage to buildings and other structures, including bridges, sewerage systems, roadways, and canals as well as crops and livestock in many provinces, especially in Mazandaran, Golestan, and Lorestan.

"Red Crescent volunteers and staff have evacuated hundreds of people to safety, and have distributed food and items such as tents, blankets and health kits to tens of thousands of people", the organization's Middle East and North Africa director, Sayed Hashem, said in a news release Wednesday.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent said it was helping thousands of people affected by the flooding.

"These floods once again show the level of Iranian regime mismanagement in urban planning and in emergency preparedness".

The foreign minister responded by taking a shot at the USA relief efforts from hurricanes Harvey, Michael and Florence and Maria. The head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, Ali Asghar Peyvandi, also criticised the United States for blocking the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT).

There have been no reports of damage to the province's petroleum facilities, which account for roughly 80 per cent of Iran's oil production.

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides said, "We stand in full solidarity with the Iranian people at this hard time".

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