Eleven killed in floods in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan

Eleven people died this Friday in floods caused by torrential rains in the suburbs of Erbil in Kurdistan, in northern Iraq, according to a balance released by the authorities.

“The balance now rises to 11 dead, after the discovery of three bodies of people who were missing, including a Filipino citizen and a Turk, washed away,” Nabaz Abdelhamid, local administrative officer, told AFP.

The province’s governor, Omid Khoshnaw, had earlier reported eight deaths.

“The floods began at 0400 and among the victims there are women and children,” essentially in popular neighborhoods located east of the city of Erbil (capital of the province of the same name), said this official, who spoke of “significant material damage “.

Four members of the civil protection team that came to the rescue of the residents were injured when their car was washed away, he added.

An Erbil civil protection spokesman, Sarkawt Karach, told AFP that among the dead people “one was struck by lightning and others drowned in their homes.”

It also reported that “missing persons were being searched”, stressing that the death toll could be higher.

On the outskirts of Erbil, an AFP reporter saw torrents of muddy water running through the roads. Several families had to leave their homes.

Along some roads, buses, trucks and tankers were washed away and are lying side by side on the shoulder, sometimes sideways.

The governor of the province of Erbil asked the inhabitants to stay at home except in case of need and assured that new rains are expected.

“The security forces and the police are in a state of alert, as well as the medical and civil protection teams and the municipalities in the area,” he explained.

str-lk / feb / bfi / mar-sag / pc / mar


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