TEHRAN, Jan. 28 (IRCS) — The Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) is helping people and vehicles caught in snow in the snowy areas on busy roads across the country. The society rescued over 32,000 people from January 25 to 28.
Snowfall in Tehran, the capital, began on Saturday night (January 27). On Sunday, January 28, snow and blizzards gripped a total of 19 provinces including: the northwestern provinces of East and West Azarbaijan, Qazvin, Zanjan and Ardebil, the central provinces of Isfahan, Alborz, Tehran, Semnan and Markazi, the southwestern provinces of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Qom, Lorestan and Khuzestan, the northern provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran, the northeastern province of Golestan, the western provinces of Hamadan and Kurdistan. The heavy snowfall and blizzard blocked Qazvin-Zanjan, Qazvin-Rasht, Khorramabad-Borujerd, Tehran, Alborz, Qom, Harza and Chalus highways and other connecting paths. The snowfall in some mountainous regions reached 150 cm.
According to the IRCS' Rescue and Relief Organization, relief services have so far been offered to a total of 32,500 people in response to the snowstorm. 22 injured have also been transferred to health centers and 7 others have been treated as outpatients.
IRCS relief workers have also provided emergency shelters for 8,400 people who were stuck in the snow. With the efforts of the IRCS rescuers, four pregnant women were transferred to the nearest hospitals in Miyaneh, East Azarbaijan, Qom, Zanjan and Ghazvin. The rescuers also released 1,489 vehicles from snow and blizzard.
Throughout the relief operations, 12,500 blankets, 7,600 bottles of mineral water, 7,000 packs of canned goods, 600 kg of date, four thousand loafs of bread and 8,600 biscuits were distributed among the citizens affected by the snowstorm.
Mahmoud Mohammadinasb, the general secretary of the society, learned about the relief and rescue operations by video-conferencing with the Emergency Operation Center of the Relief and Rescue Organization, as well as the control and coordination centers of the provinces affected by the snow.
Underlining the heavy traffic in the roads to Tehran, Qom and Alborz, he said, "Most of the problems stem from closure of bypasses and roadways trapping of passengers in the snow in the routes to these three provinces, and relief workers supported by other relief operators are helping and evacuating these points."
Morteza Salimi, Head of the Relief and Rescue Organization, also advised people to avoid unnecessary trips as much as possible and take polic instructions seriously in regard to roads. He also said that snowstorm-affected citizens may call 112 for help.