Flooding in Iran leaves at least 19 dead

The hardest-hit area was Shiraz.

Shiraz was not the only city inundated by heavy floods in Iran in the past few days. Other areas like Lorestan and Kermanshah, as well as those on the south coast of the Caspian Sea, like Golestan and Mazandaran, were also hit by heavy spring rains, Pirhossein Koulivand, the head of Iran’s emergency medical services, told the Islamic Republic News Agency.

One person was also killed by flooding in Sarpol-e Zahab in Iran's Kermanshah Province, Koulivand added.

According to the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA), the flash floods in Shiraz washed away cars.

“More than 200 cars were swept away by the flood at the Quran Gate, the entrance of Shiraz,” the head of the traffic police of the country, Col. Nader Rahmani, told ISNA.

Some experts blamed officials for poor urban development plans, which blocked the passage of floodwater at the entrance to Shiraz.

Naser Karami, a climatologist, tweeted a video of the flooding that spread on social media, saying: "An apocalyptic image of flood at Shiraz’s Quran Gate. It seems that the flood passage has been turned into a street, a square and a parking. Flood has not hit cars. It has been flowing on its own way."

Iran’s meteorological organization in a statement warned New Year's travelers and others about more rain expected in different cities across the country in the coming two days.