Tehran’s new crisis: 7 streets collapse in 4 months

October 17, 2016

TEHRAN — Tehran is facing a new crisis as for the last four months seven streets in different districts of the city have collapsed, Mehr news agency reported.

City councilor Abolfazl Ghena’ati believes that the recent collapses are all pertaining to depletion of groundwater resources.

The collapses might have been triggered by various reasons such as gas explosion, subway tunnel excavation or water pipe breaks but ultimately they are resulted from depleting ground water resources, Ghena’ati warned.

Meanwhile, Mohsen Tabatabaei-Mozdabadi, secretary for Iran Urban Economics Scientific Association (affiliated with Science Ministry), has said “although compared to the natural disasters such as flood and earthquake such collapses do not seem as much of a hazard, due to Tehran’s dense population mostly in central and southern districts the collapses might become a major threat to the capital.”

He further said that such collapses are the inevitable outcomes of ignoring environmental factors.

Urban development and building boom has turned the aquifers into hallow whole which may collapse at any time, he said, adding, another issue is soil liquefaction (where soil substantially loses strength and stiffness causing it to behave like a liquid).

Additionally, he pointed, Tehran’s old water supply network can intensify any imminent collapse.

Tabatabaei-Mozdabadi further warned about Tehran’s impending earthquake saying “we cannot deny Tehran’s earthquake which may or may not happen at an unknown future but an earthquake coupled with collapses can double the damages to the city.”

Lack of coherence in urban management eventually results in a city which is not safe from disasters, he regretted.

MQ/MG

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