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Avalanche in Iran’s Alborz Mountains Causes Death Count of 12


By Yusra Adil


Officials claim that at least 12 climbers have died and several more missing due to avalanches in the mountains of Tehran, Iran. The avalanche occurred due to a blizzard in the northern area of Iran’s capital, near the Alborz mountain. The avalanche occurred in the Shemiranat area of the Alborz Mountains, a key tourist destination for climbers. On Friday, December 25, two deaths were reported, however the number of mountaineers missing increases as concerned families contact authorities. Officials claim that nine people died on the mountain during the avalanche, and one person died in hospital. Currently, the Red Crescent Team, a rescue team in Iran, is still on the mountain and sending for people of their team to find missing mountaineers. At least seven climbers were still unaccounted for on three popular trails. To make matters worse, a 5.3 magnitude quake struck Elazig province in neighboring eastern Turkey on Sunday, further slowing the rescue efforts. Due to bad weather and night fall, the search on Saturday was cancelled, but resumed on Sunday. A member of the Red Crescent team, a rescue team, said the rescue mission was complicated by bad weather and snow. Shahin Fathi, the head of the Red Crescent's search-and-rescue unit, said the operation had ended as of Sunday afternoon. The bodies of most of those who died were recovered on the heights of the Kalak Chal summit, according to IRNA. Iran's Shemiranat region is located in the southern portion of the Alborz Mountain range that spans almost 600 miles in the north of the country.


At Tochal and Kolakchal peaks of the Alborz mountain chain, rescue missions are under full protocol, as Iran’s state television broadcast footage of a helicopter rescue operation. Tehran lies at the foot of the Alborz mountain range, which has several ski resorts and a highest peak of 5,671m. In addition, authorities are trying to locate 7 crew members of an Iranian transport vessel that got lost in rough Gulf waters on Friday, as well, due to heavy snow and winds.


“We are trying to find the missing by mobilizing all our facilities and forces, and informing passing vessels and the naval search and rescue centers of Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan.”, Esmail Makkizadeh, deputy head of Iran’s regional maritime body.

Sources:

- https://news.sky.com/story/iran-avalanches-kill-at-least-10-in-alborz-mountain-range-12173489

- https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/27/climbers-killed-in-avalanches-in-irans-alborz-mountains

- https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/27/middleeast/iran-avalanche-climbers-killed/index.html (picture)


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