An expert in Iran has warned that the country has less than ten years to deal with dangerous land subsidence because of over-extraction of ground water.
Reports and images last week showed that international airport and historic buildings in Esfahan are sustaining damage from sinking land, as a result of over-reliance on ground water for agriculture amid recurring droughts.
Ali Baytollahi, an expert on roads and buildings, told Tejarat News that most plains in Iran are sinking and the problem is worse in Esfahan.
Land subsidence is not limited to Esfahan and its surrounding plain. In many other areas in Iran cracks and huge hollows that resemble meteor craters have appeared in the ground in recent years. Ali Saberi, a geologist told local media recently that one million hectares of land in the country is affected by subsidence and the main cause is unlimited extraction of ground water.
Alireza Shahidi, head of Iran’s Geological Organization said earlier this year that land subsidence is a “disaster” and a “silent earthquake” that can lead to political and security crises.