GENEVA, March 26 (Reuters) – Iran’s crude oil pipelines have avoided damage from flooding in recent days and the transfer of oil is taking place normally, Abbasali Jafarinasab, director of the Iranian Oil Pipeline and Telecommunication Co, was quoted as saying on Tuesday by the oil ministry’s SHANA news website.
At least 19 people were killed and more than 100 injured in flash floods in Iran’s southern Fars province, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on Tuesday, with more rain forecast following days of devastating floods in the north.
Videos posted on social media on Monday showed people and cars being swept away by raging waters in the city of Shiraz in Fars province.
Reuters could not verify the authenticity of the videos.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called for the army and the elite Revolutionary Guards to help in flood-stricken areas, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting news agency reported.
“When a city goes underwater because of a flood and neighbourhoods face this problem, removing the water is a difficult, heavy task,” Rouhani was quoted as saying on Tuesday at a government crisis group discussing the flood response.
Rouhani’s hardline rivals have accused the government of doing too little, too late to help.
The hardline judiciary said on Sunday that the government’s handling of the disaster was being investigated, the judiciary’s Mizan news agency reported.
Some 26 provinces out of 31 now have flood warnings due to torrential rain in a country more accustomed to drought. State television said villages near rivers and dams in several provinces had been evacuated for fear of the rising water.
Authorities have warned about the possibility of floods in the capital, Tehran, as well as in the oil-rich southern province of Khuzestan in the next 24 hours.
(Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh Editing by Dale Hudson and Alexander Smith)