New sinkholes are cropping up nearly every day near the Dead Sea.
In the past 50 years, the salty lake has shrunk by at least a third, leaving pockets of salt behind. When mixed with freshwater, the salty pockets can dissolve, leading to sinkholes.
The first sinkhole was documented in 1980, but according to watchdog environmental group EcoPeace Middle East, now sinkholes pop up all the time and thousands of them dot the area.
Gidon Bromberg, director of EcoPeace Middle East, said that the sinkholes pose a risk to both people and the environment.
Sinkholes, “could develop overnight or over time, making them unpredictable and very dangerous,” he told ABC News during a recent interview.
Bromberg also stressed that much of the problem could be prevented with better resource management from both Israel and Jordan.
The environmental activist points to the fact a number of reservoirs and dams have been built in recent years beside the lake and water is being diverted away from the Dead Sea to meet water demands.
The mineral-rich water is also pumped out the lake and evaporated to extract bromide and potash for commercial use.
The popular tourist area is also home to a number of day spas that rely on the salty waters to attract visitors.They pump out water from the lakes to use in their own private pools for their clientele, further draining the water from Dead Sea.
“These sink holes are a direct result of the inappropriate mismanagement of water resources in the region,” Bromberg stressed, noting that now even roads and infrastructure around the Dead Sea are at risk from the increasingly threat.
Already there have been road closures. Just this January a portion of Route 90 on the Israeli side of the Dead Sea had to be shut down because sinkholes made the road collapse.