Summers in semi-arid mountains are more known for their aridity, although there may be showers from time to time. The rain is extremely necessary for wildlife, to fill waterholes and to top up springs. However, if rain comes unexpectedly or in excessive amounts, it can cause disaster and may endanger human lives.
In the second week of August, during a spell of heavy unseasonal rains across much of northeast Iran, a torrential downpour in Tandoureh that lasted for about two hours resulted in one of the most damaging flash floods the region has ever experienced. Water flowed from Tandoureh’s steep peaks down valleys and into surrounding villages. Unfortunately, two local people – a young lad and an old man – drowned, and some 75 vehicles were swept away or damaged. The flood also damaged some of the national park’s infrastructure, including parts of its well-known Chelmir visitor center and access trails.
The project crew, who were in the area deploying camera traps for leopards, had to abandon their work and return to Tehran. Fortunately, none of the project crew nor the rangers were affected by the severe flooding. Currently, rangers are working hard to restore the national park infrastructure.
Photos: Basij News Agency