By LAUREN MAINGOT
Flash floods in 20 of Iran’s 31 provinces have killed at least 24 people and injured hundreds more earlier this week, according to emergency services.
Days of “unprecedented” rain have caused rivers to overflow and engulf cities and villages across the country. Video footage on Twitter shows people clinging to lampposts as currents sweep through streets with massive debris.
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei offered his condolences to the people of Iran and expanded government-led relief efforts, which will be supported by the United Nations.
The torrential rainfall was at times equivalent to half of the average annual levels within 24 hours, according to CBS News, which is highly unusual for the country that suffered decades of drought until 2018.
“Climate change is forcing itself on our country,” Energy Minister Reza Ardekanian told Tasnim news agency. “These unprecedented floods in our country are because of climate change worldwide.”
Coverage of the floods in Iran adds to the continuing narrative of increasing natural disasters around the world as a result of climate change. Although the story would receive more attention in the U.S. if a Western country was devastated, social media allows Americans to better visualize of the extent of the tragedy.