Iran’s Sistan in crisis mode as mercury shoots up 56 °C

Press TV – On the orders of President Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian has visited Sistan-and-Baluchestan to address a somewhat insufferable situation in the wake of a record heatwave, which has hit the southeastern province.

The province has witnessed temperatures of 56 °C (132 °F), which have caused power outages, and complicated water supply amid high consumption.

Picture taken on June 1, 2017 shows locals hitting the sea amid stifling heatwaves. (Photo by IRNA)

As mercury shot up, dozens of people were taken to hospital, while livestock and poultry also suffered and offices were forced to close.

Friday prayers leaders across the province, which is home to a major Sunni community, have appealed to the government for help, demanding a write-off or discount in electricity prices.

Chitchian arrived in the city of Konarak in the province’s extreme south on Sunday, accompanied by the provincial governor, in order to observe the situation on the ground and compile a report for the government to take necessary measures.

Sistan-and-Baluchestan, home to close to three million people, is Iran’s largest province in terms of area.

Chitchian pledged to tackle water and electricity shortages in the province, saying the government is about to build an 800-megawatt power station, which will be funded by Energy Ministry.

Over the past years, he said, a number of development projects had got off the ground in the province, including a 500-megawatt power station and water supply to 500 villages.