Floods kill 11 in Iraq
Flash floods triggered by torrential rains kill 11 people in Erbil, Iraq.
Eleven people have died on Friday in Erbil due to extreme rainfall, according to provincial governor Omid Khoshnaw.
Due to the country suffering from severe drought, several people were caught off guard and perished when violent storm waves began pouring into their houses.
"The toll is now 11 after the civil defense discovered the bodies of three people who were missing, carried away by the waters. Among them are a Filipino national and a Turk," a local administration official told AFP.
He added that four members of the civil defense were injured while helping citizens.
The civil defense spokesperson Karkawt Karach said one of the eight people that died, was struck by lightning, and the rest drowned in their houses.
Karach added that some searches are still ongoing and many have been forced to evacuate their homes.
He warned of more rain and said residents should not leave their homes unless they must.
Iraq has recently been hit by extreme weather, with scorching temperatures and successive droughts in addition to intense flooding.
Due to dry ground, the soil can not absorb water as rapidly, and when storms occur, they can cause flash floods.
Climate change scientists have noted that these changes intensify from weather fluctuations.
According to experts, record low rainfall, exacerbated by climate change, poses a social and economic calamity in the already war-torn Iraq.
Samah Hadid of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) stated that the consequences of poor rainfall have been worsened by dropping water levels on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers as a result of dam construction in neighboring Turkey and Iran.
Due to the severity of the drought, many agricultural families have been compelled to abandon their property and seek work in cities.
A survey released on Thursday revealed that half of the families living in drought-affected parts of Iraq require humanitarian food help.
This came after the World Bank warned in November that climate change might cause a 20% decrease in water resources in Iraq by 2050.