While NGOs and environmentalists have been vocal for quite some time about the dam that is set to distort the beautiful Bisri Valley, the World Bank has already commenced constructing the $600 million project, reckless about the underlying seismic catastrophe that is lurking.
The Bisri Valley was the epicenter of the March 16, 1956 5+ magnitude twin earthquakes that took place somewhere in between the Bisri and the Roum faults (Check the map below for details: the red dot is the location of the planned dam).
6,000 homes were destroyed, 17,000 damaged and 136 people killed in the catastrophe. The Roum fault generated as well the earthquake of January 1, 1837 that had a magnitude of 7.1.
The World Bank states that the Bisri dam is desperately needed to address water shortages affecting millions in the Beirut area. Inducing a seismic event in one of the faults will highly trigger the other and affect the whole region including Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Palestine. And we are most certainly not ready for that.