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Wednesday, July 30, 2014 | 08:00:00 AM

Dangers of the Dead Sea


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Published On: Dec 01, 2012

Yehuda Cohen planted Palm trees years ago around the Dead Sea, but they no longer bear fruit due to a frightening phenomenon

Huge pits which have opened up in the area. A major highway runs by the field. A pit could open up under the highway as well. Eli Raz is keeping close tabs on the pits since the 80’s. When he began there were just 4. Now there are 109, in one specific area alone. Overall, there are over 3000 of them. Why is this happening? For the same reason that the Dead Sea has receded so drastically in recent years.

Because the Jordan River no longer flows into the DeadSea, and because of the factories in the area. The lack of water leads to a geological reaction which opens up these huge pits. Sometimes it’s a slow process, sometimes the earth just opens up. Eli himself was once sucked up into a widening hole. He describes it as total darkness. He was rescued after 12 hours. He is not the only person to be sucked into one of these pits. There was once a resort here that has been swallowed up into the pits.

The highway was renovated to resist crumbling even if a pit opens up under it. But experts believe the day will come when it will no longer be strong enough to resist. In September of this year, satellite photos began showing evidence of shifting grounds under the road. Eli believes the probability of a large pit developing under the road is high.

Investigators are checking to see if there is danger. In 1996, the water level was at this lifeguard stand. These are the steps to the water. The water is receding between a yard to a yard and half per year.  There is an average of one new pit a day.

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