Three people have lost their lives and two others have been injured after a series of avalanches struck a village near the northern Iranian city of Damavand in Tehran province on 3 February 2017. A number of cars were also hit by the deadly avalanches on a nearby road late Friday but Red Crescent rescue and relief teams succeeded in retrieving four vehicles from under the snow.

Mr. Morteza Salimi, Head of Relief and Rescue Organisation of the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran described the the response operation:

Since the last day of January, we have provided 31,400 people with relief and rescue services and 10,300 people with emergency shelter across in 29 provinces, 217 towns, villages and numerous local districts affected by the snowstorms.”

Between 31 January and 4 February 2017, Red Crescent rescuers also transferred 8 pregnant women and 41 injured people to nearby medical centres, while also ensuring outpatient services for 38 people.

In terms of Red Crescent relief, 7,800 blankets, 6,680 food packages, 365 kilograms of dates, 8,300 tins of canned food, 4,700 loaves of bread, 2,800 bottles of mineral water and 2,060 boxes of biscuit were been distributed to those affected by snow and blizzards across the country.

Accompanied by Mr Salimi, Mr Mostafa Mohammadion, Secretary General of the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran visited affected area along the Damavand-Tehran road, and announced the end of Red Crescent relief and rescue operations on Sunday, 5 February 2017.

“Red Crescent emergency rescue, relief and sheltering operation for those who trapped in their cars on the Damavand-Tehran road due to heavy snow and blizzard has been successfully completed. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Red Crescent relief workers and rescuers and the situation has returned to normal in this area,” stated Mr Mohammadioun.

The provincial Red Crescent branch in Tehran also reported that two skiers who went missing on following an avalanche Shemiranat Mountain have been found alive. Rescuers found two persons in few hours immediately after they were hit on the Dashte Havij Mountain.

Unfortunately, two further people remain missing. Helicopters are working in support of the specialised mountain rescue team of five members. Three Red Crescent operational teams are also at the scene while the search efforts continue.