TEHRAN Ė More than 17 people have died in storms and flooding in southern Iran, authorities said on Monday.
Another 74 people were injured in the floods, which have hit the country over the past few days, Pir Hossein Koolivand, chief of Iranís emergency services, told state-run news agency IRNA.
Emergency services rescued people trapped in homes or vehicles in the Iranian city of Shiraz, he said.
The storm left several cars trapped in flood waters in the city.
Heavy rainfall caused damage to the cityís Vakil Bazaar market, which is popular with tourists.
Flooding has also hit the provinces of Kerman, Khuzestan, Ilam and Lorestan.
In Khuzestan the Arvand Rud River overflowed, swamping many houses, while at least one person died in Lorestan.
The Islamic republicís meteorological organization warned of three-digit rainfall in Khuzestan and that other rivers in the province would likely overflow.
The Regional Water Company in Tehran said that continuous rain could lead to rising water levels in rivers and authorities have urged citizens to stay in their homes.
President Hassan Rouhani put all governors of the Iranians provinces on full alert on Friday, ordering them to be prepared to deal with a crisis if it arises.
Rouhani said in a statement ďall the facilities of the neighboring provinces be mobilized for delivering swift aid to the people of the flood-hit provinces and management of the problems created by the recent flood in the two northern provinces.Ē
The countryís leader gave an order to the Minister of Interior Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli to head a team of relief and emergency services and dispatch it to flood-stricken areas.
The entire country was on alert after heavy rainfall and floods claimed the lives of nine people the northern provinces of Mazandaran, Golestan and North Khorasan over the past few days. Thousands of houses were damaged in those areas.
Iranís Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei ordered the chief of staff of the armed forces Maj. Gen. Mohammad-Hossein Baqeri to send humanitarian aid to the tens of thousands of people affected by the flash floods.