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From 19 March to 29 April 2019, following an unprecedented rainfall, a flash flood in Iran caused an extensive number of deaths and property damages. Nearly 180,000 lodgings in 5,148 villages and213 cities were affected; 744 bridges were destroyed, while another 10,671 were damaged. The floods also caused damage to 1,480 schools: 444 in Lorestan,114 in Khuzestan,324 in Golestan, 18 in the Persian Gulf, 50 in Ilam, 357 in Hamadan, 2 in Kerman Shah, 113 in Chahamah and Bahtia, and 58 in Mazandaran. An approximate amount of US$440 million was required just to re-establish the facilities for students.
On April 28th, Peaceland Foundation launched the “Iranian Flooding Relief Operation” to carry out disaster relief work in Khuzestan province. The team put the needs of the disaster area at the heart of its activities. Services such as epidemic prevention and disinfection, water purification and disaster relief material assistance were provided, as well as post-disaster settlement points. The organization pledged nearly 150,000 RMB to help with relief efforts, which directly benefited more than 10,000 Iranian people in this challenging period.
It was estimated that 250 villages in Khuzestan Province were completely submerged. Nearly 10,000 people were besieged by the flood and 400,000 people had been displace. Epidemic prevention, sanitation assistance and food storage were urgently needed as the temperature could reach 50°C in certain areas.
Peaceland Foundation focused its operation mostly on nine cities in that Province. On 28 April, a rescue team equipped with lifeboats and smoke-killing machines departed from Beijing at 14:30 and arrived in Tehran on the same day at 22:10 local time. They immediately continued their trip to the southwest, where they were mostly needed.
After another one day’s travel, on April 30th, the team reached as its first city, Mahshahr. Mahshahr is a city adjacent to the border with Iraq. This city situated and three meters above the sea level and 1,035 kilometers away from Tehran. With a total area of 2,713 hectares, Mahshahr port was the largest port in Khuzestan after Ahwaz. The mayor, Bandar Mandarin, warmly welcomed the members and provided them with the firsthand information about the local disaster situation.
On 1 May, the rescue team met with Ali Khodadadi, head of the Red Crescent Society of Khuzestan Province, and Mohammad, coordinator of international affairs and public relations in Ahwaz. As mentioned by Ali Khodadadi, although the disaster had been predicted, the situation deteriorated unexpectedly fast. The losses caused by this flood exceeded by 20 times in previous years.
The rescue team also visited the disaster logistics centre of the Ahwaz Red Crescent Society. According to the director, Bijan Fatahirad, the disaster logistics centre receives donations from people all over the country. Since the beginning of the floods, nearly 35,000 pieces of disaster relief materials have been received every day. After being delivered, these materials were sorted and assembled by volunteers to assemble life kits and sanitation kits. Each day, around 1,500 reorganized materials were sent to the families in the disaster affected areas.
Following the briefing, the rescue team started the epidemic prevention and disinfection work in Hoveyh Village, Ahwaz. There were 150 households with more than 600 people in Hoveyh Village; and their livelihoods mainly depended on planting. However, a lot of farmland was destroyed during the disaster and locals were temporarily settled in school buildings. Our work was essential since the silt and sewage left behind were difficult to clean up, which might cause an increase in mosquitoes and related diseases.
Same approaches were implemented the resettlement site of Beit Gneieb Village, Hamidiyeh City. Mosquitos grows were reported frequently by the household. The uninhabitable lodgings pushed the affected people live in tents.
The mayor of Hashemi told the team that, due to the geographic reason, water from three provinces gathered in Hashemi and therefore, generated the biggest floods in the past 20 years.19 villages have been submerged, many rural houses and farmland with accumulated water. The flood washed away all the furniture, electrical appliances, and daily necessities in the victims’ homes, many had no choice but to live in resettlement sites. But the date for return seems so far away.
On 5 May, the rescue team met with Mr. Mirzaii, Director of the Environmental and Sanitation Bureau of Susa City, and Seed Majid, the head of the Red Crescent Society in Susa City. The floods strongly hit the 240,000 inhabitants in this city because it is a cross point between the Dez River and the Karkheh River. Thanks to the early alarming released by the government and the Red Crescent Society, local people were able to evacuate in time to the zobeit dabat village, which was 37 kilometres away from Susa. Still, nearly 9,000 people from 32 villages were displaced. Medical staff in Susa City regularly visited the resettlement sites every month, and no epidemic had been identified so far. With their help, the rescue team carried out disaster relief work as planned.
i. Total Expenditures
Till July 24th,2019, total amount of 41,025.11 RMB was raised online. For the flood rescue in Iran, 45,488 RMB in total was spent. Some extra amount was born by the Peaceland Foundation itself.
ii. Details as shown below,
Attached Procurement Invoices
i. Procurement Items, in total 30,620 RMB.
ii. Travelling expenses, in total 14,868 RMB.