The Deadliest Snowstorm in History

April 13, 2018


There had been four years of drought in Iran by the beginning of 1972, but for a week in February, the country experienced what has come to be known as the deadliest blizzard in history.

The storm covered a huge area from the north to the south and across the central part of the country during that week in February. In southern Iran, the storm dumped an amazing 26 feet (7.9 meters) of snow which buried entire villages while other areas were hit with around 10 feet (3.0 meters) of snow.

The temperature also dropped dramatically to -13 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius). Those who survived had to contend with frozen pipes and a subsequent shortage of water. To make matters worse, many of the villages that had been buried had an outbreak of flu.

In the city of Ardakan, newspaper reports had the number of people buried by snow at 4,000 and other reports told there were no survivors in the villages of Kakkan, Kumar, or Sheklab which was a small village with a population of 100 people where rescuers were only able to locate 18 bodies frozen under the snow. At one point, reports had the missing at 6,000, but the final death toll became approximately 4,000, making the Iran Blizzard the deadliest snowstorm in history.

Sources: NY Daily News, NY Times, NOAA, St. Petersburg Times, Schenectady Gazette

More Reading About Disasters From History:

The Largest Wave in History
The Great Molasses Flood of 1919
The Publicity Stunt That Went Terribly Wrong
The Mysterious Tunguska Event

Subscribe to our newsletter for a collection of stories that have been added to the Stew and get our FREE Ebook Quick Facts as a thank you.

About the author 

Daniel Ganninger - The writer, editor, and chief lackey of Knowledge Stew, the author of the Knowledge Stew line of trivia books, and editor of Fact World and the Knowledge Stew sister site on Medium, our ad-free subscription sites (you can find out how to join below). I hope you find things here to annoy those around you with your new found knowledge.

Follow the Stew

How to Join the Knowledge Stew Ad-Free Subscription Site on Medium

Join Medium now and get access to every story from Knowledge Stew and Fact World plus thousands of others ad-free. Your membership fee directly supports a continued stream of great content on Knowledge Stew and Fact World, and you’ll also get full access to thousands of other writers and stories on Medium. ($5 per month)