Heavy rains have flooded large sections of Mazandaran province in northern Iran, causing severe damage and some fatalities.

Iranian media report that the rains began at midnight and are still continuing, leaving central and eastern parts of Mazandaran with flooded streets and homes.

In Behshahr, the latest reports indicate that 12 people are dead or missing, while homes and offices have been submerged, especially along the river banks.

Schools in Behshahr have shut down and power outages have occurred as the flood affects power poles.

The rains are reportedly continuing to intensify, which has made rescue efforts difficult.

Red Crescent officials have reportedly said that 16 rescue teams are currently engaged in rescue and relief efforts across the region.