Iran hit by deadly flash floods

By MODHER AMIN  |  Aug. 13, 2002 at 3:32 PM
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TEHRAN, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Flash floods triggered by torrential rains have brought death and destruction to northeastern Iran for a second year, leaving at least 25 people dead and hundreds homeless, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported Tuesday.

The hard-hit Golestan province had the heaviest flooding in two centuries just a year ago. About 300 people died in those floods.

This year's flooding damaged thousands of hectares of farmland, disrupted water supply to 20 villages and cut off electricity to 80 other villages, provincial officials told IRNA.

The flooding has washed away several bridges in the region and severed many communications links.

Rescuers are still searching for the occupants of a passenger bus and five cars caught in floods on the main road linking the major northeastern city of Mashhad to the capital, Tehran.

Violent storms and torrential rain have affected large parts of Europe and Asia in recent days, but their cause is unclear.

Some meteorologists and scientists blame the erratic conditions on the weather phenomenon known as El Nino; others believe that climate change caused by rising greenhouse gases may be responsible.

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