Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has written to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and made a donation towards relief and rescue efforts.
“I am writing to express my sadness at the loss of life and devastation of property,” the letter said, “as well as the hardship caused to so many people due to unprecedented flooding in parts of your state.
“I appreciate that every effort is being made to rescue those affected and that relief efforts are underway. As a mark of my solidarity with the people of Kerala, I am making a donation from the Gaden Phodrang Trust of the Dalai Lama towards relief and rescue efforts,” it said.
Iranian authorities have ordered the evacuation of six more towns in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, which is widely inundated with floods, state TV reported Saturday.
Gholamreza Shariati, the provincial governor, told state TV that rescue teams are taking residents to nearby shelters, including three army barracks.
Evacuation orders came as a new round of rain and floods is expected.
Shariati said emergency discharges from dams and reservoirs were adding to the high floodwaters, but such measures were essential to prevent the dams from overflowing or catastrophic breaches, with river waters continuing to rise upstream from the province.
Young men were asked to remain behind to help with rescue operations.
Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli told state TV that about 400,000 people are at risk out of the province’s population of 5 million.
Eleven towns and scores of villages have been evacuated. There have been no evacuation orders for major cities, including the province’s capital of Ahvaz, which has 1.7 million residents.
There have been no reports of damage to the province’s petroleum facilities, which account for roughly 80 percent of Iran’s oil production.