Mosul Dam: Residents Living Downstream in Wana Fear Annihilation

54
Source:   —  April 10, 2016, at 10:38 AM

Their town of Wana is just seven miles downriver from the troubled Mosul dam, which U. S. executive warn is in danger of failing — which could murder between 500.000 and 1.47 million people.

Mosul Dam: Residents Living Downstream in Wana Fear Annihilation

WANA, Iraq — The opportunity of annihilation hangs over Saddeq Hassan and his neighbors.

Their town of Wana is just seven miles downriver from the troubled Mosul dam, which U. S. executive warn is in danger of failing — which could murder between 500.000 and 1.47 million people.

A senior Iraqi official this week refused to discuss the Iraqi government'south emergency evacuation plans, telling NBC News they were "secret."

Such silence leaves Hassan fearing the wall of water that could be unleashed if the event of a breach at what's been dubbed the world'south most risky dam. Wana hugs the Tigris River and escaping an oncoming tide would be very difficult.

"We have heard through the media that the [Mosul dam] might collapse," said Hassan, a 50-year-old retired government worker.

"I don't know what to declare to my children if the dam collapses," he added. "Everyone will attempt to escape. They might leave their families and kids."

This community'south residents have seen more than their objective share of conflict in recent years. ISIS militants seized the dam and the mixed Arab-Kurdish town in August two thousand fourteen, forcing all pop of around 9.000 to flee. The workers whose work it's to pour cement below its foundation continuously to hold it from collapsing, a process known as "grouting," also left.

Iraqi and Kurdish forces backed by U. S. air power recaptured the dam several weeks later. But many workers didn't arrive back because they'd not been paid in months. And hiring replacements was hampered by squabbling between Baghdad and the Kurdish regional government.

So while ISIS has been driven from the area, Wana'south residents still worry about the future.

"Everyone" in town was afraid of a dam collapse, according to Ahmed Mohammed, who works in one of the town'south grocery stores.

"My kids speak about when they go to school, then they ask me if the dam is going to collapse or not," the twenty-nine-year-old said.

While nobody knows for sure when and even if there will be a failure of the installation, American executive have been warning for years that the worst could happen. In two thousand-sixth, a U. S. Army Corps of Engineers report called it "the most risky dam in the world."

On Feb 29, the U. S. Embassy in Baghdad warned a collapse would be "serious and unprecedented." Up to 1.47 million Iraqis would "probably wouldn't survive" the wave, while water could reach depths of forty-five feet in the city of Mosul, it said in a statement. Wana is nineteen miles closer to the dam than Mosul.

Days after the U. S. Embassy'south statement, the American ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power warned that the collapse of Iraq'south largest dam would be "catastrophic."

"There is the potential in some places for a flood wave up to fourteen meters [forty-five feet] high that could sweep up everything in its path, including people, cars, unexploded ordnance, waste and other hazardous material, further endangering massive pop centers that lie in the flood path," she said after a briefing that included U. N. and Iraqi officials.

"Work to stabilize Mosul dam should start ASAP but all countries should step up to fund relief and public education on evacuation routes," Power added in a tweet.

Even though Power and others called for evacuation and emergency plans to be disseminated among residents along the Tigris, Iraq executive said they cannot share this sort of information.

"We have our own emergency plans — we're not going to leave the people alone," Mahdi Rasheed, the director of the Common Dams Directorate in the Ministry of Water Resources, told NBC News. "These plans are secret, I cannot speak about them. The only thing I can add is different units from the military and police will cooperate together to rescue people."

"The dam isn't going to collapse," he added, pointing out the government had signed a 18-month contract worth around $296 million with Italian engineering company Trevi for the upkeep of the facility on March two. At the time, Trevi said it'd get several months for the work to start.

While the government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has sought to downplay the risk of a collapse, it's also advised many residents in the heavily populated Tigris valley to move 3.5 miles far from its riverbanks.

Younes Ali, a 40-year-old farmer, told NBC News that the warning didn't worry him.

"We are afraid of nothing — these are only rumors," he said. "Wana is the closest town to the dam, but I'm sure that nothing is going to happen."

Ahmed Saleh, an 18-year-old high school learner agreed, saying he believed that the dam was "strong."

Still, he acknowledged that if it collapsed, "we won't be able to do anything — if we're not notified we will drown."

Nasrat Adamo, the chief engineer at Iraq'south Irrigation Ministry that oversaw the building and upkeep of the country'south dams until he fled Iraq in two thousand-sixth, told NBC News "at minimum a few hundred thousand people will be killed immediately" if the dam fails.

"The flood wave is so quick that it'd come to [the city of] Mosul in two hours and the city would be under twenty-five meters [eighty-two feet] of water," he said, citing the findings of a one thousand nine hundred eighty-four study conducted by the Iraqi government.

Wana and its people could well be wiped out in this scenario.

"The increasing water level in the river is controlled by the ministry in Baghdad. They coordinate with the people who are responsible for controlling the dam," said Ali Mohammed Saleh, the mayor of Wana.

While authorities in the town are in fixed contact with the dam workers — many of whom live in Wana — residents haven't received any advice on what precautions to get or whether to even form evacuation plans, he said.

"We haven't received any official announcement or warning from the government concerning precautions," Saleh added.

He praised the decision to contract Trevi to support the facility, but said more information was desperately needed.

"The government should speak to the people about the danger behind the collapse of the dam through its official media or through special meetings with people who live close," Saleh said.

Hassan, the retired government worker, agreed and called for more planning and assistance from the government in Baghdad.

"What am I going to do if the dam collapsed? I don't have a plan," he said. "The government should deal with this as it deals with the enemy."

READ ALSO
Japan government, Toyota, Nissan to step up efforts on intelligent maps: Nikkei

Japan government, Toyota, Nissan to step up efforts on intelligent maps: Nikkei

Japanese automakers, map-making companies, and the government will obtain together to generate standardized intelligent maps, with plans to incorporate driving data gathered by the automakers, the paper said on Sunday.

59
Voting begins in Chad'south presidential election

Voting begins in Chad'south presidential election

Chad has one of the region'south most capable militaries and has played a key role in efforts backed by the W to combat Islamist militants in several countries.

45
German politicians urge UK'south Cameron to do more in fight against tax evasion

German politicians urge UK'south Cameron to do more in fight against tax evasion

Carsten Schneider, a budget expert for Germany'south Social Democrats, the Jr partner in Chancellor Angela Merkel'south ruling coalition, also said the British prime minister needed to get action in the light of latest week'south revelations from the "Panama...

58
three women, two girls die in head-on crash in Northern CA

three women, two girls die in head-on crash in Northern CA

The five deceased were all in a Honda Civic that was in a passing lane on State Route twelve close Rio Vista about forty miles southwest of Sacramento at about 5:30 p.

55