Environment

Drastically increased water levels in the Tigris River, Iraq


Impacts of heavy seasonal rains in late March and early April 2019 are now evident in several governorates of Iraq. The effects of rising water levels include temporary evacuation of affected persons, damaged infrastructure, and flooded agricultural areas, UN OCHA reports.

The severe weather of late March/early April has now largely passed, with only isolated storms recorded over the last week. 

However, the acute impact of drastically increased water levels in the Tigris River and its tributaries is now more evident in several provinces, including in the south of the country.

Khudher al-Obeidi, a member of Diyala provincial council, said last week all the dams in the province are completely filled for the first time in many years.

“The dams of Mandali, Qazanyah, Himreen, al-Adhaim and al-Wand, which have a total storage capacity of more than four billion cubic meters of water, were completely filled for the first time in the near history of Diyala Province,” al-Obeidi said.

Provincial authorities in Kirkuk have announced that the threat of floods has eased in the governorate, but its neighboring governorates of Salah al-Din and Sulaymaniyah continue to record damage and displacement caused by increased water levels, as do Diyala, Wassit and Missan.

As of April 11 at 8.00, UN OCHA reports that 950 families (400 in Diyala, and 550 Salah ad Din) have been evacuated, while 596 families have been displaced (25 in Kirkuk, 545 in Maysan and 26 in Wasit).

Moderate to locally heavy rainfall is forecast over the northern areas of the country over the next 24 hours.

Featured image credit: RT


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