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Syrian Dam Collapses; Villages Flood

June 05, 2002|Associated Press

ZIARA, Syria — A dam collapsed in northern Syria and flooded several villages Tuesday, killing at least two people, residents and officials said.

After the Zeyzoun Dam burst, villagers said some areas were submerged under 13 feet of water. But the flood receded quickly, and a few hours later the water level was down to about 4 inches.

The dam, built in 1996, burst near Idlib, about 160 miles north of Damascus, the Syrian capital. It is on the Orontes River.

In the nearby village of Ziara, residents described a sudden deluge of water flooding homes and farmland shortly after 2 p.m.

Yasser Ibrahim, 33, a farmer, said two women were killed by the flooding. "The water took them," he said.

The Irrigation Ministry was coordinating rescue efforts and investigating the collapse.

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