April 29, 2019 – Landslides threaten 117 villages in the Iranian provinces worst hit by recent flash floods, Khabar Online news agency has said. According to the report, 92 villages in the southern province of Lorestan, 20 in the northern province of Golestan and five in the northeastern province of Khorasan are facing imminent danger. Floodwaters have saturated the underlying soil in many villages at the foot of mountains and in low-lying regions which could cause massive ground movements.
“Landslides have affected 83,000 hectares of woodlands in Lorestan. Soil erosion will destroy woodlands and low-growing vegetations covering hillsides,” Shirzad Najafi, director of Lorestan Province’s office for Natural Resources and Watershed Management said. “We have recorded 2,381 instances of significant ground movement in Lorestan, threatening 127 villages and 300 kilometers of roads.”
Mr. Najafi added: “We have received alarming reports of soil erosion and ground movements in 700 locations in the city of Khorramabad, 500 in Aligudarz, 400 in Delfan and 25 in Chegeni.”
Hadi Jafari, deputy director of Lorestan Province’s Islamic Revolution Housing Foundation, said: “We will have to move at least 48 of 90 villages threatened by landslides in the province.”
Jafari added: “The government will have to move nearly 40 villages. It has allocated residential and farmlands to 12 and 21 villages, respectively so far. The province will have to build 89 residential homes in many of the villages at an estimated cost of $1.1.”
According to a government report, floodwaters have damaged 35,000 homes in Lorestan and inflicted $900 million worth of damages. Other reports put the figure to $2.3 billion.
[Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi]