Two weeks since the storms started, relentless rain and flooding throughout Iran has left some 2 million people facing a humanitarian crisis. The deluge has swamped large swaths of the country, from the mountains in the north down to the Persian gulf in the south.
Twenty-five out of 31 of Iran’s provinces have been affected. Officials say 76 people have been killed so far, with some 150,000 homes partially or completely destroyed. Bridges across the country and miles upon miles of road have been left unusable. Authorities say the estimated bill to repair the damage stands at least $2.5 billion. The country’s agriculture sector, which makes up about 14 percent of Iran’s GDP, has been devastated.
The Red Crescent aid group, the Muslim world’s equivalent to the Red Cross, is working with the government to respond to the disaster.
Hussein and Farideh Abdekhani, an elderly couple whose village was consumed by the floods, told NBC News that the family had lost everything they had worked so hard for. “All we have left are the clothes we are wearing. … We have nothing. I don’t know how we are going to rebuild our lives,” she added.
Nasser, 81, a taxi driver in Khorramabad, the capital of Lorestan province, told NBC News: “I have lived here my whole life and have never seen anything like this.”