ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – An infant under a year old was one of the 12 victims of the flash flooding that hit the southeastern neighborhoods of Erbil on Friday.

Ten-month-old Danar Nabaz, from the Qushtapa sub-district, was swept out of his father’s hands in the natural disaster.

“The children fell from my grip. I had no control over them. Danar was screaming and couldn’t speak because his mouth was filled with mud. When I managed to grab Bahez, Danar was under the car,” Nabaz Salih, Danar’s father recalls.

“He appeared with the wave again – raising his hands as if he was asking for help. He appeared and disappeared twice, but I never saw him again,” he added. 

As of Saturday, Danar’s body has not yet been found.

Erbil’s civil defense is still searching for the bodies of Danar and another victim.

His distraught mother is hoping to find the infant.

“Someone help us please, the government should come and find him,” said Hero Shamil, Danar’s mother. “My baby was 10 months old and was swept away by water. Help us, please.”

The heavy rainstorm hit Erbil after a summer of drought.

Muddy waters swept into people’s homes in Erbil’s Daratu, Qushtapa, Shamamk, Zhyan, Roshinbiri, and Bahrka areas.

Erbil suffers from an inadequate water supply distribution network and an unsustainable drainage system.

In similar flooding, nearly 600 houses in Erbil suffered material damages in the first rainfall of the year in late October.

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Friday called on “all government agencies to provide immediate support and relief to areas affected.”

Additional reporting by Farhad Dolamari
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