Iraq Facing Potential 'Catastrophe of Biblical Proportions'
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[Scary prospect. Mosul Dam breach could pose greater threat than ISIS. *RON*]
Jenn Gidman, Newser, 27 December 2016
|This Oct. 31, 2007, file photo, shows a general view of the dam in Mosul. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed, File)|
Most of the dam's workers fled when ISIS took over the dam and the Mosul grout plant in 2014, and even though Kurdish forces retook the dam, grouting stopped for anywhere from three weeks to 18 months, based on conflicting stories. Now there's the extra pressure that will likely be put on the retaining wall as winter snow melts in the spring. And if the dam does break down? There could be a "catastrophe of Biblical proportions" in the form of an enormous wave towering up to 100 feet above the Tigris River and sweeping up all within a hundred miles. It would submerge much of Mosul, which would be hard to evacuate due to its ISIS stranglehold. Baghdad would also feel the effects within days from a 16-foot-high wave slamming into it. And the entire country would likely be left without power and see most of its wheat fields flooded. Total death toll: up to a million and a half people. "It's a nuclear bomb with an unpredictable fuse," an Iraqi-American civil engineer says. Read more of Filkins' piece on this looming disaster at the New Yorker.