Receding Flood Waters Reveal Mounting Distrust in Regime
On March 20, 2019, a series of rainstorms hit Iran, leading to flash flooding in several provinces. Two more major floods followed, overflowing the banks of already swollen rivers, bursting dams, and causing massive destruction throughout the country.
#Iran Agriculture Decimated by Floods
The recent flash floods in Iran have caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to Iranian agriculture, according to an official on Thursday.https://t.co/OVSAigxmAR #IranFloods pic.twitter.com/FkWOQ13IPk
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) April 6, 2019
The floodwaters are beginning to recede in most parts of Iran, but the country that is left behind after the floods have changed. The wreckage left behind by the rushing water extends beyond destroyed homes. As the people of Iran begin to rebuild their shattered lives, they do so knowing that their government abandoned them in their time of need.
Poldokhtar Still Awaits Aid
The city of Poldokhtar sustained heavy damages during the third round of flooding, and all roads to the city were blocked by floodwaters. Residents of the city have been stranded without emergency aid for days.
On Tuesday, one day after floods destroyed Poldokhtar, the Governor of Lorestan Province acknowledged the extent of the destruction in the city. He further claimed to have sent aid to Poldokhtar, saying, “Different measures have been taken to reach out the town population and about 2 o’clock in the morning, we were able to access the city through a new land road and send paramedic forces there.”
He also claimed to have flown over the area by helicopter. “Today [on Tuesday], from early hours of the morning, I visited the area with a helicopter,” he said. “The scale of destruction is inconceivable. We still do not have an exact assessment of the ruins in the neighboring villages.”
He added, “We don’t have any ground access to the area due to the destruction of the major road connecting Poldokhtar to Khorramabad. We have no means of communications with people there. In general, all of the villages near the river on the path to this town have been totally submerged.”
The governor blamed the lack of communication with the city for the government’s failure to rescue the stranded residents or provide an accurate assessment of damages to Poldokhtar, but he did not say why the governmental institute known as Red Crescent helicopters and the military in nearby Khorramabad were not addressing the crisis.
“We anticipate that a number of helicopters will be dispatched to the flood-ravaged areas and we hope they get there as soon as possible because there are massive areas that need services.”
Crisis Management Head Claims Help Has Arrived
While even regime’s governor in Lorestan reveal the lack of government’s support, Esmael Najjar, the head of the regime’s Crisis Management Organization, said that armed forces and paramedics arrived in Poldokhtar on Wednesday to provide emergency support to the flood-stricken residents. “Relief has arrived in Lorestan from other provinces, including Isfahan, and Central province,” Najjar said in comments carried by the ISNA News Agency. “The next place with major problems after Lorestan Province, is Khuzestan.”
April 5 – Road to Abadan, Khuzestan Province, southwest #Iran
Brave young Iranian protests the regime's Red Crescent members taking selfies along a river instead of helping flood-hit locals.
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) April 6, 2019
Distrust of the Regime Following the Floods
The government’s response to the catastrophic floods has drawn harsh public criticism. Flood survivors were left stranded on rooftops and hills, entire cities lost access to food and drinking water, roads were flooded, and hundreds of people lost their lives. The regime continues to diminish the number of deaths and damage from the floods, but local sources say the death toll numbers in the hundreds. Thousands of people lost their homes. The people of Iran desperately need aid, but the regime is unable to provide it for them. The mullahs have spent forty years plundering the people’s wealth, and now there is none left to address the nationwide disaster unfolding across Iran.
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) April 3, 2019
Without the regime to provide aid, the people are helping each other. Although almost every province suffered damage and Iran is in the midst of an economic crisis that forced 80% of the population below the poverty line before the floods, the people have come together to help their neighbors. At the urging of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President of the Iranian Resistance, MEK Resistance Units are organizing relief efforts to help those who have been affected by the floods.