No risk to Darbandikhan dam after heavy rains in Kurdistan Region: officials

Historic amounts of rainfall
Darbandikhan Dam

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SULAIMANI — The director of Darbandikhan Dam said Tuesday (March 26) that the Kurdistan Region has not experienced this amount of rain in decades.

Director Rahman Khani said that there is no danger to the dam and the lower parts of the dam have not experienced any “big and obvious” damage.

“Earthquakes in the past caused small amounts of damage to the upper part of the dam, but there is no risk,” he added.

“We have conducted geophysical tests for all the parts of the dam and there is no risk to the dam.”

The director said the level of the dam's reservoir will be 12 meters higher compared with last year, adding that it was currently holding 1.9 billion cubic meters of water.

“We can store 300 to 350 million cubic meters more,” he said, before needing to release additional water downstream.

Khani said that if Iran allowed additional water through its dams, Darbandikhan will be forced to do so as well.

The authorities at Dukan Dam are also reporting near capacity water levels there and are likely to increase flow downstream in the coming days.

Water levels also increased on the Sirwan river and Little Zab, damaging property, farmland, and infrastructure in the area.

Local Kurdish authorities have called on people in those areas to protect themselves from the rising water.

The authorities have urged people living and working along the banks of the Little Zab river in Taq Taq to evacuate their homes and businesses because of the high likelihood of flooding.

On Monday, Erbil city received 0.2 mm of rain, Sulaimani city 22 mm, Duhok city 8.6 mm, and Halabja city 37.5 mm, according to the Kurdistan Regional Government's General-Directorate of Meteorology and Seismology.

Since the beginning of the rainy season, Erbil city has received 681.5 mm of rain, Sulaimani city 976.1 mm, Duhok city  906.6 mm, Halabja city 869.7 mm, and Kirkuk city 389.6 mm.

Mergasor District in Erbil province has received 1,836.6 mm of rain since October.

(NRT Digital Media)