BAGHDAD, April 2 (Xinhua) -- All the five dams in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala are completely filled for the first time in many years by the heavy rain and torrents coming from mountainous areas, a provincial official said on Tuesday.
"The dams of Mandali, Qazanyah, Himreen, al-Adhaim and al-Wand, which have a total storage capacity of more than four billion cubic meters of water, were completely filled for the first time in the near history of Diyala province," Khudher al-Obeidi, member of Diyala provincial council, told Xinhua.
Lake Himreen dam is holding extra water that exceeds its designed capacity, he said, adding that the other dams are also facing the same problem, pushing the provincial authorities to start discharging the surplus water of the dams to rivers and streams to avoid any possible emergencies.
The dams are expected to receive extra water due to the heavy rains during the past 24 hours, al-Obeidi warned.
However, al-Obeidi said that the surplus of water gives Diyala province high flexibility in the next planting season and provides drinking water for more than two coming years.
Late on Monday, the Iraqi authorities announced high alert in the provinces of Salahudin, Kirkuk, Diyala, Wasit and Maysan due to heavy rain and torrents that raised the water level to a danger point.
On Sunday, Iraq's central province of Salahudin took precautionary measures in the evening in all the cities in north of the city of Samarra for expected flood waves in the Tigris River.
During the past few days, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi headed meetings with a crisis cell formed to discuss and evaluate plans to control the floods and the expected rise of water in the river level, caused by melting snow and heavy rain.