All posts filed under: Environment

Iran: 7-year-old boy is latest child to lose arm to crocodile while fetching water

A crocodile attack on a 7-year-old boy has refocused attention on the plight of villages in Iran’s southeastern Sistan and Baluchistan Province that lack running water. Residents say their children have no option but to fetch water from lakes and rivers, exposing them to the dangers of drowning and attacks by a species of marsh crocodile known locally as “gandos”. On Aug. 11, a 7-year-old boy named Amirhamzeh from the village of Houttag was attacked by a crocodile as he was fetching water for his family. His parents sent him to neighboring Pakistan for treatment, but the doctors were forced to amputate his left hand. While Iran does not publish statistics of crocodile attacks, locals say they are a regular occurrence. Last year a 9-year-old girl lost her arm in a crocodile attack, and an 8-year-old boy lost a leg. Sistan and Baluchistan is one of the most underdeveloped provinces of Iran, a poor region that shares 1100 km of border with Afghanistan and Pakistan. Many of the arid province’s villages are not connected to …

A giant sinkhole opens up in drought-hit Iran

A giant sinkhole about 60 metres deep has made a surprise appearance in western Iran. The sinkhole opened up on August 19 near the small village of Kerdabad, in the Kabudrahang county of the western province of Hamadan. It has terrified both locals and experts, who say this phenomenon shows that groundwater tables have been badly damaged. The images of this giant hole in the earth are even more chilling due to its location: the sinkhole is only one kilometre from a village with more than 2,000 residents, and only a few more kilometres from a solar power station, a thermal power plant and a major national highway. This video of a sinkhole near the village of Kerdabad in the Iranian province of Hamadan was circulating among Iranian users via the messaging app Telegram in August 2018. A shepherd who witnessed the pit’s creation described it to Iran’s state media: “It was about 3 pm and I was just 20 metres away from where the pit would open up. Suddenly I heard a strange, deep …