A former professional footballer has died in a landslide and at least nine people have drowned as heavy rains have caused flash flooding across the northern Iranian provinces of Mazandaran and Golestan this week. Keyvan Vahdani (27), a former midfielder with the Nassaji Mazandaran football team, was struck by falling debris at Khatikooh in Mazandaran whilst travelling from Tehran to Savadkuh on Wednesday 20 March 2019, and died of his injuries at the scene. The landslide occurred after about three days of continuous rainfall in the area. Landslides are a common problem after severe weather events, as excess pore water pressure can overcome cohesion in soil and sediments, allowing them to flow like liquids. Approximately 90% of all landslides are caused by heavy rainfall.
Former Nassaji Mazandaran midfielder Keyvan Vahdani (27), killed by a landslide in Mazandaran Province this week. Persian League.
The severe weather has caused a series of flash flooding events across Mazandaran and Golestan provinces, with at least nine people having drowned and at least one more missing. Flooding is particularly severe around the city of Aqqala in Golestan. Ecologists in the region have warned of an increased risk of flooding in the region due to a loss of forest cover; which has led to the loss topsoil into the Caspian Sea, exposing non-absorbent bedrock below, which leads to water pooling at the surface rather than being absorbed into the ground.
Flooding in the city of Aqqala on the Caspian coast of Iran this week. Moein Motlagh/Mehr News Agency.
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