Italian engineers hired to help prevent a catastrophic collapse of Iraq's largest
hydro-electric dam will need at least two months to assess the structure before starting major maintenance work, a Water Resources Ministry spokesman told Reuters.
Mahdi Rasheed Mahdi said it might be six months before work began on the Mosul dam as Italy's Trevi Group needed to bring in specialist equipment to plug gaps caused by erosion.
The dam, near the northern city of Mosul, was built in the 1980s on a friable gypsum layer on the Tigris and needs constant repairs to avoid disaster.
Maintenance work was disrupted for two weeks in August 2014 when the dam was captured by Islamic State militants seeking to carve a caliphate in captured territory in Iraq and Syria.
The dam's seizure prompted concerns that irreparable damage to the structure's foundations may have been caused. Collapse would devastate Mosul and other cities along the river, including the Iraqi capital Baghdad, and cause hundreds of thousands of casualties...Continue reading...