Iran power station closed down by drought
A major Iranian power station has been forced to close down because the river that feeds it has dried up due to the severe drought nationwide, the state IRNA news agency said Sunday.
The station, at a dam on the Zayande-Rud river that runs through the central city of Isfahan, "can no longer operate because of the lack of water," a local official told IRNA.
The Zayande-Rud, well known from touristic photographs of it pouring through Isfahan's famous Si-o-Sepol bridge, has been reduced to little more than a few pools of stagnant water.
Iran is being battered by the second straight year of drought, the worst here in 30 years, and UN officials have warned that a humanitarian catastrophe could be in the making.
At least 800,000 head of livestock have died and the United Nations estimates that some 60 percent of the rural population could be forced to move to urban areas, putting a further strain on city water resources.
Wildlife refuges have been destroyed, lakes and rivers have dried up, and countless hectares (acres) of pasture and farmland have been reduced to dust.
More than half of Iran's population of 62 million has been affected by the drought, which has also devastated nearby Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. — (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)