Published: 2021-12-17 10:34
Last Updated: 2022-01-23 17:04
At least 11 people were killed in floods caused by heavy rain that hit Erbil in the Kurdistan region (northern Iraq) at dawn on Friday.
Authorities warned of the possibility of additional floods.
The official said that "the floods started at 4:00 am (0100 GMT), and caused the death of eight people, including women and children," explaining that the floods were concentrated in popular neighborhoods in eastern Erbil and also caused "great material damage."
He added that "four members of the Civil Defense were injured after their car was washed away by water," while they were trying to rescue citizens.
Civil defense spokesman in Erbil Sarkot Karach told AFP, "The initial outcome is the death of 8 people, one of whom died when he was struck by lightning, and the others drowned in their homes."
He talked about "there are still missing persons, so the number of victims is likely to rise."
He added, "There are citizens who were forced to leave their homes. The material damage is very great."
An AFP journalist on the outskirts of Erbil saw puddles of muddy water on the roads. On the edges of some streets, trucks and buses were washed away, piled close to each other or overturned.
In a statement, the governor also warned residents not to leave their homes.
"We ask citizens, if there is no necessary work, not to leave their homes and outside the city of Erbil, as additional rains are expected and there are fears of flooding in the city center and its outskirts," he said.
"There is a state of alert among the security forces, police, health teams, civil defense and municipalities in districts and sub-districts to receive citizens' calls," he added.