Storm in Northern Iraq: At least eleven dead after floods

Status: December 17, 2021 2:31 p.m.

At least eleven people were killed in floods in northern Iraq, and many more are still missing – including a child. Further rains could exacerbate the situation.

According to the media, at least eleven people were killed in heavy rains and floods in northern Iraq. More people are still missing, so the number of victims could continue to rise.

In the Kurdish regional capital Erbil, numerous streets were under water, reported the Kurdish TV channel Rudaw. Muddy water flowed through the city streets, pulling some buses, trucks, and tankers with it. Other vehicles were overturned on their side. Many residents in the flood area had to leave their homes

Ten month old child missing

Several people died in the floods, one person was killed by a lightning strike, as the broadcaster reported, citing the governor of Erbil, Umid Khuschnau. A ten-month-old child was torn from his father’s arms and is missing. A bridge collapsed west of Erbil.

According to Khuschnau, the flash floods began around four in the morning and surprised many people in their sleep. Since more rain is expected, there is a risk of further flooding.

The Prime Minister of Kurdistan Autonomous Region in northern Iraq, Masrour Barzani, said he was “deeply saddened by the loss of life and damage” caused by the floods. “I have instructed all government agencies to provide immediate support and assistance to the affected areas,” wrote Barzani on the short message service Twitter.

Iraq suffers from extreme weather

Iraq has suffered from a number of extreme weather events in recent years. In addition to heat waves and droughts, there were also severe floods. They were exacerbated by the previous droughts because the dried out soils could hardly absorb water.

Because of the drought, many farmers gave up their farms and moved to the cities. This further worsens the supply situation in the crisis country. The World Bank warned in November that because of climate change, a further 20 percent decline in Iraq’s water resources was to be feared by 2050.

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