Iranians told to watch out for loose crocodiles as flooding hits country’s southeast

CNN:  Iranian authorities have warned that crocodiles are being forced from their natural habitats as floods devastate parts of the country’s southeast.

Three road construction workers have died in the flooding, Iranian state news agency IRNA reported on Thursday, which came after a record-breaking storm hit the Middle East.

Heavy downpours and subsequent flash floods struck the Iranian provinces of Bandar Abbas, Kerman, and Sistan and Baluchistan, according to reports by the semi-official news agency Mehr News on Wednesday.

Rivers overflowed while dams reached capacity, leading to extensive property damage, the agency said. Videos broadcast by state news media IRNA and Tasnim showed widespread floods with people using boats to rescue others.

And the Department of Environment in Sistan and Baluchistan issued a warning highlighting concerns about “short-nosed crocodiles” being forced out of their natural habitats, local media reported on Thursday.

Residents were told to avoid unnecessary travel near the Bahu Kalat riverbanks, wetlands, marshes, and the peripheries of wildlife habitats until the floodwaters have fully receded and conditions stabilize.

The Iranian Red Crescent meanwhile rescued 43 passengers from two buses that were trapped in floods on a road in the southeast, the organization posted on X.

The storm, which impacted countries in the region including the United Arab Emirates and Oman, struck Iran late Tuesday and into Wednesday.

The UAE saw its heaviest rainfall in 75 years this week, with one hundred millimeters (nearly 4 inches) of rain falling over the course of just 12 hours on Tuesday, according to weather observations at the airport.

In the popular tourist destination Dubai, flights were canceled, traffic came to a halt and schools closed.

The weather conditions were associated with a larger storm system traversing the Arabian Peninsula and moving across the Gulf of Oman. This same system is also bringing unusually wet weather to nearby Oman and southeastern Iran.

In Oman, at least 18 were killed in flash floods triggered by heavy rain, the country’s National Committee for Emergency Management said. Casualties included schoolchildren, according to Oman’s state news agency.

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