(ORDO NEWS) — Experts attribute the recent surge in the number of sinkholes to the rapid loss of groundwater as farmers use deep underground wells to irrigate their fields.
A massive sinkhole in central Turkey is attributed to a three-year drought and climate change.
A few weeks ago, the earth opened up in a corn field near the house of a local resident, Kafer Ata. A round funnel about 3 meters deep appeared in the ground, as if carved with a knife.
“I don’t know what to tell you,” he said. “This is bad. God have mercy.”
Sinkholes are a global geological phenomenon with many causes, but the recent spike in sinkholes in Turkey’s central region of Konya is attributed by experts to the rapid loss of groundwater. The fact is that during the almost three-year drought, farmers use deeper underground wells to irrigate their fields.
Researchers have recorded more than 2,200 sinkholes in the area, more than 700 of which are deeper than one meter. The largest of them have a depth of 30 meters.
Kafer Ata said that his neighbor fell into such a hole. It took two days to get him out of there. Shepherds must now keep a map of each sinkhole so that their animals do not fall into it when they graze in open fields.
Historically, most of the wheat was grown in the area, but farmers later switched to more water-intensive crops such as sugar beets and corn. Those who can afford are installing groundwater pumps to irrigate their fields, but groundwater is limited in the area. Every year, especially during a drought, they find themselves drilling deeper to get to the water. In doing so, they set the stage for another failure.
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