Sea that isn't
Iserve as an eye-opener for T SHOULD world leaders and institutions that favour economic growth at the cost of the environment. In October last year, the world saw the death of the Aral Sea—a lake that was so big that it was called a sea.
In 1960, the Aral Sea was the world’s fourth largest inland water body, spread over 67,499 sq km—an area 65 times that of Delhi. Its basin was spread over seven Central Asia nations—Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Iran. Today, hardly 50 years later, it is a shadow of its former self. According to UK-based online environment paper Earth Times, 82 per cent of the sea has dried up into a desert,Aralkum.
“The tragedy of the Aral Sea is among the biggest ecological disasters of modern times, indeed of human history itself. It is a crime against nature. A man-made tragedy,” says Istanbul filmmaker Ensar Altay,who in 2013 made a documentary on the sea called People of the Lake, highlighting the plight of the sea and those who once lived on its shores.
In the beginning
The Aral Sea is an endorheic lake, which means that although it has surface inflow, there is no surface outflow of water. The inflow into the sea is because of two rivers, the Amu Darya and Syr Darya.