Videos posted to social media show muddy waters flooding streets and homes in the city of Erbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, and other cities in the province.
Rescue operations are underway and officials continue to search for several missing people, said Sarkawt Tahseen of Erbil’s Civil Defense Department.
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Iraqi region, Masrour Barzani, tweeted Friday that he was “deeply saddened by the loss of life and damage caused by last night’s heavy rain and flooding”, and he has “ordered all government agencies to provide immediate support and provide assistance to the affected areas”.
Separately, Iraqi security forces in northern Kirkuk province on Friday rescued a number of families trapped in their homes as a result of the torrential rains, according to a statement from the defense ministry.
Iraq has witnessed record-low rainfall this year, but officials have warned of sporadic heavy rainfall due to climate change.