34 Killed, More Than 250 Injured in Neka Floods

July 27, 1999 - 0:0
NEKA, Mazandaran Prov. -- Governor of the Caspian city of Neka, in Mazandaran Province, Ebrahim Qorbani said here Monday that 34 people were killed and more than 250 injured and disappeared in the floods caused by torrential rains on Sunday night. He told IRNA that however, due to the extent of the incident, there is no figure yet available on the exact number of the casualties.

Qorbani said that relief operations are underway to rescue those entrapped by the floods. The floods have also destroyed the two districts of Shahid Beheshti and Tork Mahalleh in the city. Heavy damage has also been inflicted on a number of villages in the region. Meanwhile, local sources said that the governor's office, the municipality and the public library of Neka have submerged in the floods.

Traffic was ceased in the center of the city as well as on Sari-Gorgan road and many people entrapped in the floods took shelter on the roofs. The panic-stricken residents of the city woke up in the middle of the night on Monday as municipality workers sounded the alarming sirens of the fire engines around the city as a sign of warning.

Streets and the railway bridge surrounded by the flood and residential units in Ablu village were almost submerged on Monday morning. Describing the floods in the city as ``unprecedented'', Mayor of Neka Nadali Niazi called for a public mobilization to help the victims. He told IRNA that according to primary estimates about 500 trade and 400 housing units have been totally damaged in the floods.

He said that administrative establishments, municipality, governor's office, public library and five banks have sustained heavy damage. Niazi further added that communication between east and west Mazandaran province has been disconnected and public utility networks, including water, electricity, telephone and city gas have been heavily damaged. He said foodstuff, drinking water, tents, loaders, mechanical spades and water pumps are urgently needed.

In the provincial city of Behshahr, Head of the provincial Natural Disasters Headquarters Rahmatollah Ahmadi told IRNA on Monday that floods killed 19 people while several others are missing in Behshahr. Ahmadi said team of relief workers managed to retrieve bodies of four victims and are busy looking for bodies of those missing. He said that in Behshahr the flood damaged five villages, regional infrastructural facilities, projects and farmlands and disconnected the roads.

Putting the death toll at 34 in Neka and Behshahr and Sari, he said that flood inflicted damage on 30 villages in Neka as well as infrastructural installations, bridges, roads and streets. Ahmadi said that consequently the Gorgan-Sari as well as Neka-Hezar Jarib routes were totally blocked and considerable damage inflicted on thousands of hectares of farmlands and the livestock. He said that in Behshahr the flood had inflicted damage on five villages, regional infrastructural facilities and projects as well as farmlands and disconnected roads.

In Sari floods inundated seven villages, tens of residential and commercial units with several bridges being washed away consequently, he noted. Governor of Neka Ebrahim Qorbani said that infrastructural installations, including cement factories, railroad stations, bridges, tracks and a mosque, in Neka sustained substantial damage. (IRNA)