Absent relief efforts, the flood-stricken people of Sistan and Baluchestan continue to suffer

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, January 18, 2020—In the past seven days, Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan province has been struggling with devastating floods. The floods were triggered by heavy rainfall in southern Iran, particularly in the Sistan and Baluchestan, Hormozgan and Kerman provinces. The downpour blocked roads and destroyed bridges, crops, and houses. Thousands of people have been displaced.

Satellite image from the flood in Systan & Baluchestan

Satellite image from the flood in Sistan & Baluchestan

The people of Sistan and Baluchestan are also suffering from the severe mist, freezing nightly weather and snowfall. The damage to roads and pathways is such that many people are trapped in their villages. Previous pictures obtained from the region show many of the people taking refuge in trees to protect themselves against the floodwaters.

Seven days after the beginning of the heavy rainfall, the damage has become more evident. A region that was already reeling from extreme poverty now has to deal with damaged infrastructure and the destruction of thousands of homes.

While rainfall has stopped in the past few days, the floodwaters remain, causing severe damage to farmlands and crops.

The Iranian regime has taken no measures to mitigate the damage from the flood and to protect the people of the region. Even after the flood-hit the region, Iranian authorities have not engaged in relief efforts.

The people of the region are mostly relying on their own to deal with the damages done by the flood. Videos show people living in mud-filled huts doing what they can to protect their families.

“There are no water purification centers here, no plumbing. Whatever facilities there are have been built thirty years ago,” one of the residents of the flood-stricken regions said in a video posted on social media.

“Yesterday, flood and took away all our belongings. Our sheep died. We have nothing left,” one of the children of the region said. “The Red Crescent doesn’t even answer the phone.”

“Our homes are broken. Water flooded into our homes. We are all wet and cold.”

“In the past four days, no authority has come here,” one of the villagers of the region says. “Everything was popular aid, the youth of Sistan and Baluchestan, the voluntary help of the youth of Chabahar. Where is our representative? When it’s time for elections, they knock on every door and promise to solve all our problems and fulfill our demands. We have no problem. No need. Now’s the time to think about the people of Dashtyari village. Where are you? Where is the representative, where is the governor? Now is the time to show up. We only hear your names.”

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