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More than 3,000 sinkholes have opened up in the Dead Sea as the region continues to lose water


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Friday, April 10, 2015, 9:53 - More than 3,000 sinkholes have opened up on the banks of the Dead Sea over the past thirty years -- and they're increasing rapidly as the region loses water.

"It's nature's revenge," Gidon Bromberg, the Israeli Director at EcoPeace Middle East, told ABC News.

"These sinkholes are a direct result of the inappropriate mismanagement of water resources in the region."

The Dead Sea's first sinkhole was reported in 1980 and by 1990, they had multiplied to forty.

By the early 2000s, new craters were opening up every day.


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Bromberg said they can develop overnight, making them "unpredictable and very dangerous." Experts are afraid nearby roads could collapse or injure someone.

The Dead Sea is evaporating at a rate of nearly about 3 feet per year. Sitting at more than 1398 feet below sea level, it is the lowest point on dry earth. It relies on fresh water from Jordan River but that waterway is drying up, sending only about 5 percent of its water into the area. Experts say 30 percent is needed to maintain the Dead Sea.

The craters are forming in clusters that collapse on each other and create even larger holes.

Bromberg told ABC the only way to halt the sinkholes is to "stabolize" the area -- but it's not clear how that will be achieved.

Source: ABC

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