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Man taking selfie among seven dead in Iran storms

Published: Updated:

A man taking a selfie after an Iranian dam burst was among at least seven people killed as floods, avalanches and dust storms gripped the country, state media reported on Saturday.

The 40-year-old was swept away while taking the photograph beside a river swollen by the breach of the earthen dam near the southeastern city of Jiroft, a Red Crescent official told the official IRNA news agency.

His body has yet to be recovered.

The dam burst flooded parts of Jiroft, damaging dozens of homes.

A second man was killed in a flash flood in the southwestern province of Bushehr.

The torrential rain caused flooding across the south, from Khuzestan province on the Iraqi border to Sistan-Baluchistan province on the border with Pakistan.

Thousands fled villages downstream from dams fearing collapses like that in Jiroft.

Avalanches

In the north, at least five people have been killed in avalanches over the past two weeks as up to two metres (more than six feet) of snow fell in the Zagros and Alborz mountains.

Hundreds of villages were cut off in the provinces of Kurdistan, East Azerbaijan and Gilan.

Even as downpours gripped much of the south, residents of some areas near the Iraqi border were praying for rain as some of the worst dust storms in years sent hundreds to hospital with respiratory problems.

Photographs shared on social media showed cars, kitchens and furniture caked in thick dust beneath an orange sky.

The dust level in the air was 18 times the normal levels, officials in Khuzestan province said.

Long power cuts hit the cities of Ahvaz, Khoramshahr and Abadan as the combination of the dust and up to 98 per cent humidity played havoc with the electricity grid.

In Ahvaz, residents held demonstrations calling for government assistance. Several artists and celebrities launched a solidarity campaign on social media.