The severity of the blizzard of 1972 has left Iran the most vulnerable, as it was labeled to be the deadliest blizzard to date. Four thousand people were left dead in the week-long snowstorm. On February 3, 1972, the people of western Iran have only seen the start of what’s to come.
The Iranian people have overcome consistent disasters in their encounter with the deadly blizzard in 1972. Loss of transportation, medical assistance, heat, food, and water were just a few of the crises they’ve faced.
The Infamous Blizzard
The crisis occurred on February 3 in 1972. Traveling from Western Iran to Azerbaijan, the dreadful blizzard showed no mercy to the villages it passed. From February 3 to February 8, it greatly impacted Northwestern, Central, and Southern Iran to the point that it rendered transportation through commuter trains impossible. (Source: Snowstorm)
The snow accumulated and reached upto 26 feet in height. This was equivalent to two and a half story buildings worth in height. Not only did it hinder commuter trains from resuming their operations, but it also caused the snapping of telephone lines and the wreckage of numerous cards.
The situation of the snowfall slowly began to be more severe after the day the blizzard hit. On February 4, 20 feet of snow already began heaping in the Southern parts of Iran. Meanwhile, in Northwestern and Eastern Iran; Snow already piled up to 8 feet. The following day on February 5, the snow reached its peak in height, burying many villages in the snow with the temperature reported hitting -17 degrees Celsius. (Source: Timeline)
Why Was the Blizzard Deadly?
In the subsequent days, snow completely covered a Wisconsin-sized region in Western Iran for weeks. The few who survived experienced deprivation from their basic needs. They could not get access to medical help, comfort, food, and even water for days. With the -13 degree Celcius coldness hitting the vulnerable people, it was evident that their circumstances couldn’t become worse.
An oncoming fatal threat was nearing the citizens, and no blizzard would stop its cruelness! Soon enough, a deadly flu virus hit the people of rural Iran – taking a disastrous toll on the people’s collective health.
When Did the Blizzard Stop?
The week of constant snowfall came to a stop on February 9. The people of Iran experienced a snow-free day. With the bestowed opportunity, rescuers immediately came to aid. The rescue workers used helicopters as a means of transportation to assess the situation of the impacted areas. Massive deposits of snow replaced the vanished villages. In the reports, Arkadan city was the most affected; Kakkan and Kumar had no survivors. “Inhabitable” “Leaving a trail of gruesome destruction”; were the words articles have said to describe the horrendous situation of Iran. (Source: Blizzard)