People, Travel

Top Attraction Closed

Top Attraction ClosedTop Attraction Closed

The Lake Urmia National Park in West Azarbaijan Province has been closed to the public in an effort to help improve the imperiled lake’s recovery process, manager of the park, Behzad Shirpanah, was quoted as saying. “The vast expanse of dried up lake allowed people to drive their vehicles on land that used to be brimming with water,” the Khabaronline website quoted Shirpanah as saying. The move to ban visitors is expected to help the pace of the lake’s recovery and protect the remaining ecosystem. Once twice as large as Luxembourg, Lake Urmia was sliced in half in 2008 and its surface area has dwindled to around 10% of its average size over the course of five decades. The lake has dried up drastically due to a variety of factors, including the construction of a 15-kilometer causeway to shorten the travel time between Urmia and Tabriz cities as well as construction of several dams that have choked off a major supply of water flowing from the mountains that tower on either side of the lake.