Annual Floods Return to Iraq
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Annual Floods Return to Iraq

February 11, 2004
Winter rains and possibly melting snow from Iran’s Zagros Mountains have begun to fill the marshes and shallow lakes of Southern and Eastern Iraq. Flooding in this region is an annual affair, though typically, the floods peak in April and May when spring snowmelt flows out of Iran. This false-color, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image shows that water levels had already begun to rise two months in to the rainy season. Winter rains usually run from December to April, and this image was acquired by the Aqua satellite on February 8, 2004. The mountains in Iran are still capped with snow, which is light blue in this image. Floods in the marshlands have already caused problems this year. In early January, rediverted water combined with heavy rains caused intense floods near Nasiriya, a little north of Lake Hammar on the shores of the Euphrates River. Over 8,000 people were evacuated, and at least 180 houses were destroyed.

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