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It’s not enough to leave these people without electricity or drinking water for years; now the infrastructure-neglect chickens may be coming home to roost.

The US assessment was part of a report by the US Army Corps of Engineers (ACE), which said the current probability of dam failure was “exceptionally high.”
Its comments were included in a review of dam fortification work by the US Special Inspector General for Iraqi Construction (SIGIR) dated October 29 and released on the Internet on Tuesday.
The SIGIR report also includes a letter sent in May to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki from the US ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and US military commander General David Petraeus in which they warned of the risk of a massive disaster if the dam breaks.
“In terms of internal erosion potential of the foundation, Mosul Dam is the most dangerous dam in the world… If a small problem (at) Mosul Dam occurs, failure is likely,” the ACE concluded.
“A catastrophic failure of the Mosul Dam would result in flooding along the Tigris River all the way to Baghdad,” the report said, noting that just 50 kilometres (30 miles) downstream is the city of Mosul, with 1.7 million people.

The Independent reports that such a flood could drown 500,000 people.

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