The natural disaster came just as people were celebrating the Persian New Year.
The Iranian government has mobilized to help victims in the flooded areas.
Iran’s First Vice-President Es’haq Jahangiri and Interior Minister Abdul-Reza Rahmani Fazli have both traveled to the flooded areas to personally oversee rescue efforts by the Iranian administration.
Jahangiri on Saturday dismissed the governor-general of Golestan Province, Seyyed Manaf Hashemi, following public outrage at his absence from work. He reportedly traveled abroad after the disaster hit. The Iranian first vice-president has replaced Hashemi with one of his deputies, Press TV reported.
On the same day, Jahangiri headed a crisis management meeting held in the provincial capital of Gorgan, where he said the Iranian establishment would draw on all of its capabilities to help the victims of the flooding.
‘Floodwater being channeled out’
According to the head of Iran’s disaster mitigation agency, floodwaters are being channeled from affected areas into the Caspian Sea further north.
Ema’eel Najjar, the head of the National Disaster Management Organization of Iran, told Khabar Online on Saturday that channels have been dug out through roads to redirect floodwaters to the sea. According to Najjar, while that measure has worked more quickly to mitigate the crisis in Mazandaran, more time is needed in Golestan due to its larger distance from the sea.
High water has forced the evacuation of several small farm communities as farmlands have been swamped, according to local reports. Footage from the two provinces showed massive flows of water running over roads and streets, with cars being washed away, people struggling to walk, and traffic being disrupted.