That would be very, very bad.The US embassy in Baghdad has warned the risk of the Mosul Dam collapsing is "serious and unprecedented" and has urged people to be ready to evacuate.Maintenance work was disrupted after the dam was briefly seized by militants from so-called Islamic State in 2014.
If the dam burst, floodwaters could kill 1.47 million Iraqis living along the River Tigris, the embassy said.
Iraq's prime minister has said precautions are being taken, but that such a scenario is "highly unlikely".
The dam, Iraq's largest has suffered from structural flaws since its completion in 1984, with the water constantly eating away at the soluble gypsum base on which it is built.
To counter the erosion, engineers need to drill holes in the gypsum and fill them with a cement grout mixture six days a week.
IS only controlled the dam for 11 days, but many of the people working at the dam did not return after it was recaptured and regular maintenance did not resume.
The statement issued by the US embassy on Sunday it had "no specific information that indicates when a breach might occur" in the Mosul Dam.
"But out of an abundance of caution, we would like to underscore that prompt evacuation offers the most effective tool to save event of a breach," it added. "Proper preparation could save many lives."
Some models estimate that Mosul, which has been controlled by IS since June 2014, could be inundated by as much as 21m (70ft) of water within one to four hours of a catastrophic breach.
The embassy also published a factsheet that said approximately 500,000 to 1.47 million Iraqis living along the River Tigris in areas at highest risk probably would not survive unless the 482km (300-mile) long flood zone was evacuated.
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
At Least the U.S. Doesn't Have the Most Dangerous Crumbling Infrastructure