Historic Euphrates River is Drying Up!
- This is a sign of the end times, the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ is near. The rapture of the Church is even nearer!
13 Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.
12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.
- New York Times reports :
Throughout the marshes, the reed gatherers, standing on land they once floated over, cry out to visitors in a passing boat. “Maaku mai!” they shout, holding up their rusty sickles. “There is no water!”
The Euphrates is drying up. Strangled by the water policies of neighbouring Turkey and Syria; a two-year drought; and years of misuse by Iraq and its farmers, the river is significantly smaller than it was just a few years ago. Some officials worry that it could soon be half of what it is now.
The shrinking of the Euphrates, a river so crucial to the birth of civilization that the Book of Revelation prophesied its drying up as a sign of the end, has decimated farms along its banks, left fishermen impoverished and depleted riverside towns as farmers flee to the cities looking for work.
The drought is widespread in Iraq. Along the river, rice and wheat fields have turned to baked dirt. Canals have dwindled to shallow streams, and fishing boats sit on dry land.
The area sown with wheat and barley in the rain-fed north is down by roughly 95 per cent, and the date, palm and citrus orchards of the east are parched.
For two years rainfall has been far below normal, leaving the reservoirs dry, and U.S. officials predict that wheat and barley output will be a little over half of what it was two years ago.
It is a crisis that threatens the roots of Iraq’s identity, not only as the land between two rivers, but as a nation that was once the largest exporter of dates in the world, that once supplied German beer with barley and took patriotic pride in its expensive Anbar rice.
Now Iraq is importing more and more grain. Farmers along the Euphrates say with anger and despair that they may have to abandon Anbar rice for cheaper varieties. Droughts are not rare in Iraq. But drought is only part of what is choking the Euphrates and its larger, healthier twin, the Tigris.
The most frequently cited culprits are the Turkish and Syrian governments. Iraq has plenty of water, but it is a downstream country. There are at least seven dams on the Euphrates in Turkey and Syria, according to Iraqi water officials. With no treaties or agreements, the Iraqi government is reduced to begging its neighbours for water.
But many U.S., Turkish and even Iraqi officials say the real problem lies in Iraq’s own deplorable water management policies. Leaky canals and wasteful irrigation practices squander the water, and poor drainage leaves fields so salty from evaporated water that women and children dredge huge white mounds from pools of runoff.
There is no shortage of resentment at the Turks and Syrians. But there is also resentment against Americans, Kurds, Iranians and the Iraqi government. Scarcity makes foes of everyone. In the southeast, where the Euphrates nears the end of its 2,780-kilometre journey and mingles with the less salty waters of the Tigris before emptying into the Persian Gulf, the situation is grave.
The marshes there that were intentionally reflooded in 2003, rescuing the ancient culture of the marsh Arabs, are drying up again. Sheep graze on land in the middle of the river. The farmers, reed gatherers and buffalo herders keep working, but they say they cannot continue if the water stays like this.
“Next winter will be the final chance,” said Hashem Hilead Shehi, a 73-year-old farmer who lives in a bone-dry village west of the marshes. “If we are not able to plant, then all of the families will leave.”
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