Iran evacuates 656 drought-hit villages : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Iran evacuates 656 drought-hit villages

July 6, 2001 Posted: 10:00 PM EDT (0200 GMT)

TEHRAN, July 6 (Reuters) -- Iran is evacuating 656 villages in the northeast of the country where water supplies have dried up during a third consecutive year of drought, the Iranian news agency IRNA reported on Friday.

The authorities are evacuating the villages, home to tens of thousands of people in Khorasan province, because they cannot supply them with enough water by tanker trucks, IRNA said.

Recent water shortages have led to rationing and provoked protests in several areas of Iran.

Police arrested more than 40 people in the central city of Isfahan this week after rioters smashed windows and blocked roads in protest against drinking water shortages.

Clashes between angry demonstrators and police were also reported in western Hamadan province.

Last year's drought destroyed some 800,000 livestock and more than three million tonnes of grain, forcing record wheat imports by the country of some 65 million people.

-- Martin Thompson (, July 07, 2001

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