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25 tons of fish perish in northwestern Iran

TABRIZ, Iran., July 30, 2000 (IRNA) -- Twenty five tons of fish have perished since the water reservoir of an earth dam in northwestern Iran dried up, intensifying the consequences of a widespread drought which has severely hit Iran.

The Public Relations Department of provincial Construction Jihad Organization reported the dam was situated in the village of Maljiq, some 50 kilometers southwest of Hashtroud.

"Lack of rain and excessive use of water behind the dam by villagers for iiigation has sped up the drying up of the reservoir, thus killing a large number of fish living in the reservoir," an expert with the provincial Fisheries Organization said.

The damage inflicted by the darought has been estimated at rls 120 million.

Iran is experiencing unusually hot weather this year which has worsened drought already affecting more than half of Iran's 28 provinces.