Panama Canal Closed Temporarily Owing To Flooding

December 9th, 2010 - 8:34 pm ICT by GD  

By Ranjan Bhaduri
Panama CanalDec 9, (THAINDIAN NEWS) The Panama Canal which serves as a link between the Atlantic and Pacific ocean has been closed temporarily owing to heavy rainfall and flooding. The canal authority reported that the incessant rainfall has resulted in the water level in lakes which form a section of the canal reaching record high. This can pose a potential threat to shipping. The canal had to close for the first time post the invasion of Panama by USA in 1989. However, the officials are of the opinion that normal traffic can begin shortly in the passage. The canal authority also said that the flood gates would be opened so that the water level in a lake can be brought down. On an average 14000 ships use this canal a year which constitutes almost 5 percent of the global trade.

In the last few years, parts of the Panama Canal have been suspended owing to accidents but the entire canal was not closed. The canal was built just before the First World War by USA. Since its inception it has contributed majorly to global trade. As a matter of fact the famous water way is now undergoing a huge expansion drive which is going to raise its capacity. After the expansion is implemented the large ships will also be able to cruise through it without any problem. This project is slated to be complete by the year 2014.

The Panama Canal does not correspond to sea level. To pass through it the ships are lowered and raised by huge sized locks and they have to go through a freshwater channel linked with rivers originating at surrounding forest-laden hills.

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