Af­ter­shocks in Iraq and cracks ap­pear in dam

Arab News - - INTERNATIONAL - SUADAD AL-SALHY

BAGHDAD: Iraq recorded more than 60 af­ter­shocks fol­low­ing Sun­day’s pow­er­ful main earth­quake, in which many peo­ple died, hun­dreds were in­jured and dozens of homes were de­stroyed.

Cracks also ap­peared in the Dar­bandikhan Dam on the Diyala River in north­ern Su­lay­maniyah gover­norate, but the lo­cal mayor said the risk of its col­laps­ing was “re­mote.”

Dar­bandikhan town in Iraqi Kur­dis­tan is the clos­est in­hab­ited area to the quake’s epi­cen­ter and suf­fered most of the ca­su­al­ties. More than 35 homes and a three-floor com­plex were se­verely dam­aged, and peo­ple were asked to move to safety as the area is still at risk from af­ter­shocks.

“The sit­u­a­tion is un­der con­trol now but there is a fear of af­ter­shocks, as many of the houses are lo­cated be­neath the dam,” Nasseh Mulla Has­san, the mayor, told Arab News on Mon­day.

“The tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee sent by Baghdad to­day to ex­am­ine the dam showed that the quake caused dam­age, but there is no risk of its col­lapse at the mo­ment.”

Other dams in Iraq were also dam­aged, but Prime Min­is­ter Haider Al-Abadi’s of­fice said: “The dams are safe and there is no dan­ger.”

Al-Abadi held a se­ries of meet­ings with con­cerned de­part­ments on Mon­day to ad­dress po­ten­tial threats, and formed com­mit­tees to as­sess the dam­age. Civil de­fense teams, lo­cal po­lice and hos­pi­tals across the coun­try were put on high alert.

Fad­hil Ibrahim, gen­eral di­rec­tor of me­te­o­rol­ogy and seis­mic mon­i­tor­ing in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, told Arab News that af­ter­shocks con­tin­ued to be felt with a mag­ni­tude of 3 to 4.5, com­pared with the ini­tial tremor’s 7.3.

“They are not ex­pected to be any stronger but they will con­tinue for two weeks or a month un­til the re­gion is sta­bi­lized,” he said.

“The dan­ger still ex­ists be­cause the af­ter­shocks are near the seis­mic cen­ter in the re­gion.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saudi Arabia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.