Baghdad/Tehran - Iraq on Saturday closed its Sheeb border crossing with Iran to travellers and trade until further notice, Iraqi security sources said, as flooding continues to submerge villages in the south of Iran.

The Sheeb crossing is in Iraq’s southern Miysan province.

Floods in Iran since March have killed 70 people the head of the emergency services said on Friday according to the official IRNA News Agency.

“The floods also injured 791 persons of which 45 are still hospitalised,” Pirhossein Koolivand, the head of the national Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Organisation said.

A report published on the EMS website showed the southern Fars Province had the highest fatalities with 23 dead.

The report also listed four people were missing. All in all 20 out of Iran’s 31 provinces reported casualties from the floods.

Iran has been hit by unprecedented flooding across most of the country in the last 19 days.

The country’s northeast was swamped on March 19 before the west and southwest of the country were inundated on March 25, killing a total of 45 people.

On April 1 the west and southwest were again swamped by floods when heavy rains returned to the area.

“2,199 rural roads and 84 bridges have been washed away,” said Behnam Saeedi, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Organisation.

“Across 15 provinces, 141 rivers burst their banks and around 400 land slides were reported,” he told state TV.

The government said the flooding had damaged nearly 12,000 kilometres (7,500 miles) of roads, or 36 percent of the country’s entire network.