Cloudburst closes UNESCO-tagged geopark in Iran’s Qeshm

January 13, 2020 - 20:8

TEHRAN – Severe rainstorms over the past few days have led to the temporarily closure of Qeshm Geopark in the Persian Gulf, aiming to safeguard eco-travelers and visitors to the UNESCO-registered site.

“All geosites on Qeshm Island have been shut down considering the extent and intensity of the recent rainfalls,” ISNA quoted Qeshm Geopark Director Alireza Amri-Kazemi as saying on Sunday.

“This closure is ordered for keeping the safety of geotourists as well as protecting some structures of the geopark. It will remain closed for days until the ground is dried up, as water has infiltrated into the marl layers, creating mud and practically making trekking difficult and dangerous,” he explained.

Over the past few days, heavy rainfalls have damaged houses, bridges, power and water infrastructures, flooded many streets, and blocked roads in southern Hormozgan and southeastern Kerman and Sistan-Baluchestan provinces.

Torrential rains, which started on January 9, have led to flash floods in several cities in the three provinces, forcing some residence to be displaced, ISNA reported.

Qeshm Island is a heaven for eco-tourists as it embraces wide-ranging attractions such as the Hara marine forests and about 60 villages dotted mostly across its rocky coastlines.

Meanwhile, it is home to birds, reptiles, dolphins and turtles to name a few.

The island also features geologically eye-catching canyons, hills, caves and valleys, most of which are protected as part of the UNESCO-tagged Qeshm Island Geopark, itself a heaven for nature-lovers.

AFM/MG

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