• Iran strives to restore normal condition to snow-hit area


    TEHRAN: Iran’s troops, relief workers and governmental organizations are struggling to restore normal condition to the northern part of the country which has encountered unprecedented heavy snowfall and cold weather in the past days.

    The governmental administrative organs, Red Crescent workers and armed forces, have been dispatched north of Iran to help people who have been cut off power and water supply following the heavy snowfall in the past few days, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli told reporters after a meeting of Iran’s Supreme Council for Management of Crisis on Tuesday.

    So far, power current has been restored to about 95 percent of the cities in the north of the country, Rahmani-Fazli said, adding that relief efforts are continuing in Gilan and Mazandaran provinces in the littoral Caspian Sea.

    Also, oil ministry is planning to supply fuel for the region in the face of natural gas shortage, he said.

    Farmers and herders who have undergone loss and damage to their properties will be compensated after an assessment of their damages, he added.

    The Iranian minister did not elaborate on the casualties and fatalities of the snowfall which started five days ago, but the locals expressed concerns about entrapped people on the roads, far-off villages and remote areas.

    The governor of Gilan province told state TV that in some regions, the snowfall has reached 250 centimeter-high. Local media said some 11,000 people stuck in the snow have been rescued and about 3,800 people have been evacuated to shelters provided by the rescue operators.

    This is an unprecedented snowfall for the past 50 years, and “we are concerned about power and water supply which have been cut off for the past days,” a Mazandaran provincial official said.

    The educational centers, including preliminary schools, high schools and the universities, in the two provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran were closed. Also, the entrance exam for Masters courses which were scheduled to be held nationwide on Thursday and Friday were postponed, according to state IRIB TV.

    It was announced here on Tuesday that all the schools of Tehran will be closed on Wednesday because of the snowfall and low temperature in Iran’s capital.

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ordered the formation of an emergency team of ministers to tackle problems in the two northern provinces. PNA


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