Friday, August 10, 2007


Situation in Iraq not bleak or scary enough for you? Try this from Patrick Cockburn:

[T]he wall of a dam holding back the Tigris river north of Mosul city is in danger of imminent collapse.
If it should fail,

a wall of water will sweep into Mosul, Iraq's third largest city with a population of 1.7 million, 20 miles to the south. Experts say the flood waters could destroy 70 per cent of Mosul and inflict heavy damage 190 miles downstream along the Tigris. ... Iraq, the site of the biblical flood,[*] is very vulnerable to inundation because it is very flat south of the Kurdish mountains. ...
[T]he impact of the flood would be felt all along the Tigris river valley. This would mean heavy damage to cities such as Tikrit and Samarra and the floods could reach as far as Baghdad, home to six million people, though by then the force of the floodwaters should have dissipated.

Given that the Iraqi government has only intermittent control of this area north of the capital, which is overwhelmingly Sunni, it is unlikely it could undertake effective measures to save lives if a flood occurred.
Via War in Context

* Have to take issue with this point: I don't believe there's a scientific consensus on the location of "the" Biblical flood.



At 10:20 PM, August 14, 2007, Blogger Gary Farber said...

If there were a big ancient flood in the area, the Tigris and Euphrates would seem to be highly plausible candidates for the source. Where better?

There actually does seem to be something resembling a scientific consensus, is my impression, but I'm certainly no expert.


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