An aerial view of flooding in Golestan province, Iran March 27, 2019. (Photo: AFP)
TEHRAN, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Iran's southwestern province of Khuzestan on Sunday announced a state of emergency amid heavy rains and the likelihood of flooding on Sunday and Monday, official IRNA news agency reported.
Qolam Reza Shariati, governor general of Khuzestan, told IRNA that the state of emergency was announced based on the weather forecast that the province is at risk of flooding as a result of downpours in its northern areas.
The heavy amount of water moving downstream into Khuzestan from its neighboring northern provinces might cause overflow of the rivers and damage to the dams, he said.
Meanwhile, local media reported that several villages adjacent to the rivers in Khuzestan have been depopulated because of the flooding.
The Iranian authorities have issued alerts to the inhabitants of rural areas in the western provinces to stay aloof from the river banks.
On Friday, Iran's traffic police issued a serious alert asking people to avoid taking trips on Sunday and Monday.
Floods and landslides killed at least 44 people and injured 265 others across Iran in the past week.