Saudi Arabia, UAE launch drive to support flood-hit Iranians

The Saudi Red Crescent Society and the UAE Red Crescent Authority are currently considering mechanisms to activate this initiative and to contribute positively to reducing the impact of floods in the affected areas. (AFP)
Updated 12 April 2019
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Saudi Arabia, UAE launch drive to support flood-hit Iranians

RIYADH: Humanitarian aid organizations in Saudi Arabia and the UAE have joined forces to help thousands of Iranians hit by devastating floods.

The Saudi Red Crescent Authority (SRCA) and Emirates Red Crescent (RCUAE) on Friday launched a major relief initiative after recent deluges left around 80 people dead and forced more than 80,000 residents to flee their homes.

In a joint statement, the two agencies said they were drawing up plans to channel aid to the worst-affected areas in a bid to ease the suffering of the Kingdom’s and the UAE’s “Iranian brothers.”

Iranian authorities on Wednesday ordered tens of thousands of people to leave their homes as floodwaters poured into the southwest city of Ahvaz, capital of Khuzestan province.

Gholamreza Shariati, provincial governor, pleaded for young men to volunteer to “help us in building dykes and to assist in the evacuation of women, children and the elderly.”

Nearly 80 people are known to have died in the past three weeks in torrents, described as the worst since the 1940s, which have swamped about 1,900 cities and villages in 20 of Iran’s 31 provinces.

The northeast of Iran was first to be hit by floods on March 19 before the west and southwest were inundated on March 25. On April 1, the west and southwest were again engulfed after heavy rain returned.

The huge inflows have forced authorities to release large volumes of water from Khuzestan’s largest dams, which is now threatening some cities downstream, including the Ahvaz region, where 1.3 million people live.

The disaster has left aid agencies struggling to cope and seen 86,000 people moved to emergency shelters.

The Iranian government has told its citizens, especially flood-affected farmers, that all losses will be compensated.


Libyan warplane makes emergency landing on road in southern Tunisia

Updated 41 min 25 sec ago
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Libyan warplane makes emergency landing on road in southern Tunisia

  • The pilot said he was forced to land because his L-39 warplane was damaged
  • Government of National Accord said the plane does not belong to them

TUNIS: A Libyan warplane made an emergency landing on a road in the southern Tunisian town of Beni Khadash on Monday and its pilot has been detained, according to Tunisia’s state news agency TAP.
The Tunisian Ministry of Defense said the pilot informed the authorities that he was forced to make the landing due to damage to his plane.
Tunisia’s air force prepared to intercept the L-39 warplane but it landed before it could be reached, the ministry said in a statement on its website.

Forces allied to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) denied the warplane was one of theirs.
Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), which is allied to a rival administration in eastern Libya and which mounted an offensive on Tripoli in early April, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Witnesses said the plane had landed on a road and been surrounded by civilian vehicles stopping to watch.