ISNA – Recent floods in Iran have left nearly $2.5 billion damage and hit 25 provinces and more than 4400 villages across the country, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said on Sunday.
“The floods were unprecedented and caused many problems in all the 25 provinces, including the devastation of houses, farms, bridges and roads,” he added.
He also suggested that by considering preventive measures as the first priority and transferring population of more than 250 villages and some cities, deaths and injuries following floods would be reduced.
Fazli said the floods had caused around 350 trillion rials ($2.5 billion) worth of damage.
The flooding, which began on March 19, has killed 76 people, forced more than 220,000 people into emergency shelters, and left aid agencies struggling to cope. The armed forces have been deployed to help those affected.
Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami said 14,000 kilometers (8,700 miles) of road had been damaged and more than 700 bridges completely destroyed by landslides and flood water.
The government has said it will pay compensation to all those who have incurred losses, especially farmers.
Morteza Shahidzadeh, head of Iran’s sovereign wealth fund, said President Hassan Rouhani had asked permission from the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to withdraw $2 billion from the fund for reconstruction in flood-hit areas.