Geologist warns that Egypt could face its own Derna situation if GERD collapses

Egyptian geologist and water expert Abbas Sharaqi warned that Egypt faces the risk of flooding just as severe as in the Libyan city of Derna if the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) collapses, RT reported.

Sharaqi had analyzed the natural and human factors in Libya that led to the two dams collapsing, resulting in catastrophic floods.

The GERD is about 3,000 times larger than the two Libyan dams together, he explained, while the area surrounding it is even more risky in terms of annual floods and severe sloops, alongside greater seismic activity.

Sharaqi referred to a previous scientific study that he published in May 2011 about the GERD project, wherein he stated the risks that the dam would cause to the region.

The dam is at risk of collapsing due to geological factors and the rapid flow of the Blue Nile water, which on some days in September reaches more than half a billion cubic meters per day and a height of more than 2,000 meters.

If this happens, the greatest damage will be caused to Sudanese villages and cities, especially Khartoum, which may be swept away by water in a way similar to the Japanese tsunami in 2011, Sharaqi warned.

There are greater chances of an earthquake occurring in the reservoir area of the Renaissance Dam due to the weight of the water brought into this area, which is made up o cracked rocks, the study said.

Sharaqi revealed changes in the GERD after the completion of the fourth filling process.

In a facebook post, he wrote that satellite data showed that the two drain gates have been closed since the middle of September, and the turbine pool appears quiet as the two turbines have not been operated for the first time in weeks – possibly due to regular maintenance.

After the end of the fourth GERD filling on September 9, about 300 million m3/day will pass from the top of the middle corridor to Sudan, which began gradually storing its annual quota and will decrease to 200 m3/day to total about six billion m3 in October.

Sharaqi stated that the total current reserve in the Renaissance Dam lake is about 41 billion cubic meters of water.

Many areas in Sudan are experiencing drought this year due to water being held in the Renaissance Dam for most of the season in addition to a shortage of rainwater below average this year, he explained.



Stagnant talks

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced on Sunday the completion of the process of filling the GERD on the Blue Nile, the largest dam in Africa.

The dam is causing regional tensions with Egypt and Sudan, the downstream countries on the Nile river.

Egypt denounced Ethiopia’s announcement that it had completed filling the dam, stressing that the unilateral measure constituted a “legal violation.”

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