2019 Elam floods

2019 Elam Floods
A community affected by flooding on 21 March
A community affected by flooding on 21 March
DateMarch 19, 2019 (2019-03-19) – present
Non-fatal injuries200+
Property damageUSD $520 million
  • 6 cities and about 70 villages damaged
  • Several major roads and bridges blocked

From mid-March to April 2019, widespread flash flooding affected large parts of the Iranian plateau and its surroundings. Three major waves of rain and flooding over the course of two weeks led to severe flooding throughout much of Elam. Large dams were been overflowed, leading to the evacuation of numerous cities, towns, and villages.

The severity of the flooding was greatly increased by the conversion of dry river beds and flood routes for urban development without providing proper drainage infrastructure. According to an Iranian government official, due to record rainfalls, more than 140 rivers burst their banks, including the Dez and Ulay rivers which flow into Elam. Water accumulated in the Dez and Ulay dams so severely that the Ulay dam's reservoir flow reached to 8400m³/sec. As the dams reached their maximum capacity, the Ministry of Power opened the dams to discharge excess water.

The impact of the flooding was heightened because of the Nawruz holiday; many people were traveling and became trapped on roads and highways due to flash flooding. Approximately 36% of Elam's national road network was damaged. The floods caused more than half a billion USD (2019) in damages; a large portion of this was due to agricultural losses, which reached an estimated $138.2 million USD.

Civil and armed forces have been mobilized since 24 March.

Relief efforts

On the 23rd of March, Emir Kindinu-Muhammad, the monarch of Elam, commanded the Armed Forces to participate in the relief efforts. Civil and armed forces have been effectively mobilized since 24 March.

On the 6th of April, the Government of Elam made the announcement that farmers would be recompensed for all agricultural damages occurring as a result of the floods.

Relief efforts including clearing rubble, diverting water, building dykes, and distributing emergency supplies are being performed by local communities, soldiers, and volunteers. On the 9th of April, a volunteer team of trained rescue workers from Iran were dispatched into flood-stricken zones.

International aid

International aid has come chiefly from Iran, Pakistan, and Germany. As of the 13th of April, an aid convoy consisting of more than 100 aid vehicles sent by Iraq's Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, a major Shi'ite resistance group, arrived and began aiding communities.