Monsoon floods: Yazd tourism directorate warns of land subsidence

TEHRAN – Yazd tourism directorate has warned about the possibility of land subsidence in the ancient Iranian city.

“Due to the flooding in recent days, there is a possibility of land subsidence in many places inside the historical core of Yazd,” a provincial tourism official said on Friday.

According to the tourism minister, Ezzatollah Zarghami, torrential downpours in the historical core of Yazd have caused some 25 trillion rials ($83m) in damage.

Dozens of flash floods ravaged 735 mudbrick houses and structures in the ancient oasis city over the past couple of days, the minister said.

Yazd is chock-full of adobe houses, mansions, bazaars, public bathhouses, water cisterns, mosques, synagogues, Zoroastrian temples, and centuries-old gardens. From the divine point of view, the city enjoys the peaceful coexistence of three religions: Islam, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism.

During the last few days, flash flooding in 17 provinces of the country claimed 32 lives and left 25 people missing. Sistan-Baluchesan, Tehran, Fars, Kerman, Hormozgan, Qom, Semnan, Mazandaran, Yazd, East Azarbaijan, South Khorasan, Golestan, Isfahan, Bushehr, Kohgiluyeh-Boyer Ahmad, Markazi, and Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari are the provinces heavy ravaged by the provinces rainfall.

A UNESCO World Heritage, Yazd is regularly referred to as a delightful place to stay, or a “don’t miss” destination by almost all of its visitors. The city is full of mudbrick houses that are equipped with innovative badgirs (wind catchers), atmospheric alleyways, and many Islamic and Iranian monuments that shape its eye-catching city landscape.

Cultural heritage experts believe that Yazd is a living testimony to the intelligent use of limited available resources in the desert for survival. Water is brought to the city by the qanat system. Each district of the city is built on a qanat and has a communal center. Furthermore, the use of earth in buildings includes walls and roofs through the construction of vaults and domes. Houses are built with courtyards below ground level, serving underground areas. Wind-catchers, courtyards, and thick earthen walls create a pleasant microclimate.

Yazd is home to numerous qanats which have supplied water to agricultural and permanent settlements for thousands of years. The man-carved underground qanat system relies on snow-fed streams flowing down the foothills of surrounding mountains. The earliest water supply to Yazd is estimated to date from the Sassanid era (224 to 651 CE). However, many others have continually been repaired and used over time, and most surviving Ab-Anbars (traditional mudbrick cisterns) can be today traced to the late Safavid and Qajar periods.



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