Snow crisis in north Iran to ease soon: Minister

Tasnim – Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami said the country’s northern province of Gilan will soon overcome crisis caused by the heavy snowfall that has paralyzed many areas.

In an interview with Tasnim on Thursday, Eslami said efforts have been underway by the administrative organizations to plow snow and clean the roads in Gilan Province since the heavy snowfall.

The minister said the traffic jams have cleared on the main roads connecting cities in Gilan, noting that efforts are underway to reopen rural roads as well.

He added that special efforts are being made to clear the roads to which the Ministry of Energy must have access in order to reconnect the power.

On Wednesday, President Hassan Rouhani ordered the administrative organizations to mobilize efforts to help the people in the northern provinces of the country suffering in heavy snowfall.

Rouhani ordered the ministries of Roads and Urban Development, Energy, Information and Communications Technology, and Interior to mobilize all their capacities to expedite the aid and rescue service work and relieve the problems caused by the heavy snowfall in the northern provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran.

According to Iran’s National Emergency Service, five people have been killed in an avalanche triggered by heavy snow in Gilan.

Two other people have been also killed in Rasht, the capital of Gilan province, and 78 others injured due to extreme weather conditions and snow-related incidents across the province.

An official in Iran’s road transportation organization said on Tuesday that all passenger vehicles trapped on the Qazvin-Rasht Highway due to a traffic jam caused by snow would be helped to move from the road by late night.

Earlier reports in the Iranian media suggested that the snowfall and strong winds had dumped one meter of snow on the northernmost parts of the road near Rasht.

Others said the storm had left nearly 100,000 homes and businesses in Rasht, a city of more than 700,000 people, without power while causing outages in telephone and mobile communications.