Power cuts as winter storms hit northern Iran

Almost half a million people left without gas and electricity as heavy snow hits the country.

Tehran gets a good dusting of snow this weekend as severe blizzards slam northern Iran [EPA]

Over the last few days parts of northern Iran have suffered their heaviest snowfall in 50 years. Many towns and villages have been cut off and around 480,000 have been left without power and water.

One of the hardest hit areas is Mazandaran province, on the Caspian Sea, where almost two metres of snow has fallen since Friday. The city of Ramsar amassed 193cm of snow in five days, 75cm of which fell on Sunday.

Around 11,000 people had to be rescued after getting stuck in the snow and some 3,800 people have had to move into emergency shelters. Not surprisingly, all schools across the province have been closed according to Iran’s state media.
Troops with the Revolutionary Guard have been delivering aid supplies to those people who remain trapped in Mazandaran and neighbouring Gilan province. They have also been helping with the evacuations.

Further snow flurries are expected over the next few days, and temperature in Tehran will struggle to get above freezing.

The worst of the weekend’s snow is now crossing Afghanistan, where incidentally British soldiers at Camp Bastion are seeing their first covering of snow since the base in Helmand province was established in 2006. Last week parts of the country were enjoying temperatures of 21 Celsius.

Source: Al Jazeera