Panama Canal reopens after closure from heavy rain

The canal was last closed during the 1989 U.S. invasion.

Panama Canal reopens after closure from heavy rain

The Panama Canal, a major shipping waterway that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, reopened early on Thursday after a rare shutdown due to heavy rains, the canal authority said.

"The Canal is operating now," canal authority administrator Alberto Aleman said in a statement, after the roughly 10-hour shutdown.

The canal was last closed during the 1989 U.S. invasion.

Between 13,000 and 14,000 ships pass through the canal every year -- about 36 per day -- representing roughly 5 percent of world trade, according to the canal authority.

Recent rains have caused havoc in nearby Venezuela and Colombia and the authority said rainfall had pushed surrounding rivers and reservoirs to historically high levels, which could affect ships in transit.

The waterway is undergoing an expansion project to accommodate larger ships that will cost more than $5 billion dollars.


Reuters

Last Mod: 09 Aralık 2010, 17:06
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