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Team assess earthquake impact on Iraqi dams

A team from the World Bank and the Iraq Ministry of Water Resources is evaluating the impact of recent earthquakes on the Darbandikhan and Dokan Dams in Iraq.

A team from the World Bank and the Iraq Ministry of Water Resources is evaluating the impact of recent earthquakes on the Darbandikhan and Dokan Dams in Iraq.

At the request of H.E. Dr. Haider Al-Abadi, Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq, the World Bank mobilized a technical support mission to visit Sulaimaniyah Province to assess the impact of the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that struck the Iraq-Iran border on November 12. The visit came after concerns were raised about the safety and management of these two dams two 56-year old multipurpose dams.

“We highly value the partnership between the Government of Iraq and the World Bank office in Baghdad and we appreciate the Bank’s prompt response and cooperation in answering the Ministry’s request for assistance in dealing with this emergency,” commented H.E. Hassan Al Janabi, Minister of Water Resources.

The aim of the World Bank’s team is to support the Ministry of Water Resources in preparing a detailed diagnostic of any damage to the dams, review the emergency preparedness plan, and prepare an action plan for managing the structure.

The mission reported that dam operator and the technical staff of the Ministry of Water Resources were found to be managing the post-earthquake situation in a highly satisfactory manner. The extent of the further technical support needed will be based on the mission’s detailed findings.

“The World Bank is working hand in hand with the Government of Iraq teams at the dam locations in carrying out a deep dive assessment of the damage caused by the earthquake and putting together a rehabilitation plan to address immediate and longer term concerns,” said Yara Salem, World Bank Iraq Country Manager.