Friday, August 10, 2007
(Voices of Iraq) - A major disaster is looming in northern Iraq because the wall of the Mosul Dam that holds back the Tigris river north of Mosul city is in danger of imminent collapse, a report by the Independent newspaper said on Wednesday. Quoting experts, the newspaper said that flood waters could destroy 70% of Ninewa province and "inflict heavy damage 190 miles (300km) downstream along the Tigris."
According to the report, "This would mean heavy damage to cities such as Tikrit and Samarra and the floods could reach as far as Baghdad." Citing "fundamental and irreversible flaws existing in the dam's foundation," a recent report by the US Army Corps of Engineers indicated that the safety of the dam against a potential catastrophic collapse "cannot be guaranteed.
"Suggesting possible solutions, the report said "The main method used to strengthen the foundations of the Mosul dam is pumping liquid cement into it or grouting. But a US-funded study concluded that grouting would not save the dam, although it did need to be continued and enhanced 'to reduce the probability of failure.'"
"An international panel of experts called in by the Ministry of Water Resources in Baghdad concluded that a limit should also be placed on the level of the water in the reservoir - that was done in April last year," read the report. The Mosul Dam, built between 1980 and 1984, has long been known to be in a "dangerous condition because of unstable bedrock," the newspaper said.