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Heaviest rains in century bring floods to Caspian Sea coast: Iran media

Emergency services survey a collapsed road bridge in the Iranian city of Astara after the area is hit by what officials describe as the heaviest rainfall in a century
— Tehran (AFP)

Flash floods have injured 20 people in northern Iran, after what officials described as the region's heaviest rains in a century, Iranian media reported.

The rains have battered the cities of Astara and Talesh, on the Caspian Sea coast near the border with Azerbaijan since Sunday, the reports said.

"Heavy rains ... have fallen over Astara which have not been seen in 100 years," Gilan province's head of crisis management Amir Moradi told the ISNA news agency on Monday.

Twenty people have been injured, the Mehr news agency reported.

State news agency IRNA quoted officials as saying that more flooding was expected on Tuesday in Gilan province and western districts of neighbouring Mazandaran.

The floodwaters brought down one bridge in Astara and heavily damaged another, the Tasnim news agency reported.

It shared images of emergency teams helping motorists to escape from vehicles that had been partially submerged by the water.

The river systems that flow from Iran's extensive mountain ranges make it vulnerable to flash flooding.

Last year, floods hit 21 out of Iran's 31 provinces killing at least 96 people, authorities said.

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