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Pictures | Fri Dec 6, 2019 | 4:00pm EST

Water flow at iconic Victoria Falls hits lowest level in decades

Water levels at Victoria Falls are running low after a prolonged drought affecting much of southern Africa. Picture taken December 4, 2019. For decades Victoria Falls, where southern Africa's Zambezi river cascade down 100 meters into a gash in the earth, have drawn millions of holidaymakers to Zimbabwe and Zambia for their stunning views. 
     
REUTERS/Staff

Water levels at Victoria Falls are running low after a prolonged drought affecting much of southern Africa. Picture taken December 4, 2019. For decades Victoria Falls, where southern Africa's Zambezi river cascade down 100 meters into a gash in the...more

Water levels at Victoria Falls are running low after a prolonged drought affecting much of southern Africa. Picture taken December 4, 2019. For decades Victoria Falls, where southern Africa's Zambezi river cascade down 100 meters into a gash in the earth, have drawn millions of holidaymakers to Zimbabwe and Zambia for their stunning views. REUTERS/Staff
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Victoria Falls on January 17, 2019. The worst drought in a century has slowed the waterfalls to a trickle, fueling fears that climate change could kill one of the region's biggest tourist attractions. While they typically slow down during the dry season, officials said this year had brought an unprecedented decline in water levels.

  REUTERS/Staff

Victoria Falls on January 17, 2019. The worst drought in a century has slowed the waterfalls to a trickle, fueling fears that climate change could kill one of the region's biggest tourist attractions. While they typically slow down during the dry...more

Victoria Falls on January 17, 2019. The worst drought in a century has slowed the waterfalls to a trickle, fueling fears that climate change could kill one of the region's biggest tourist attractions. While they typically slow down during the dry season, officials said this year had brought an unprecedented decline in water levels. REUTERS/Staff
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Visitors take pictures before dry cliffs during a prolonged drought at Victoria Falls, December 4, 2019. Data from the Zambezi River Authority shows water flow at its lowest since 1995, and well under the long term average. Zambian President Edgar Lungu has called it "a stark reminder of what climate change is doing to our environment."

REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Visitors take pictures before dry cliffs during a prolonged drought at Victoria Falls, December 4, 2019. Data from the Zambezi River Authority shows water flow at its lowest since 1995, and well under the long term average. Zambian President Edgar...more

Visitors take pictures before dry cliffs during a prolonged drought at Victoria Falls, December 4, 2019. Data from the Zambezi River Authority shows water flow at its lowest since 1995, and well under the long term average. Zambian President Edgar Lungu has called it "a stark reminder of what climate change is doing to our environment." REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
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A visitor takes pictures before flowing water at Victoria Falls, January 17, 2019. Yet scientists are cautious about categorically blaming climate change. There is always seasonal variation in levels. Harald Kling, hydrologist at engineering firm Poyry and a Zambezi river expert, said climate science deals in decades, not particular years, "so it's sometimes difficult to say this is because of climate change because droughts have always occurred ... If they become more frequent, then you can start saying, ok, this may be climate change," he added.

REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

A visitor takes pictures before flowing water at Victoria Falls, January 17, 2019. Yet scientists are cautious about categorically blaming climate change. There is always seasonal variation in levels. Harald Kling, hydrologist at engineering firm...more

A visitor takes pictures before flowing water at Victoria Falls, January 17, 2019. Yet scientists are cautious about categorically blaming climate change. There is always seasonal variation in levels. Harald Kling, hydrologist at engineering firm Poyry and a Zambezi river expert, said climate science deals in decades, not particular years, "so it's sometimes difficult to say this is because of climate change because droughts have always occurred ... If they become more frequent, then you can start saying, ok, this may be climate change," he added. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
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Victoria Falls during a prolonged drought, December 4, 2019. Kling said early climate models had predicted more frequent dry years in the Zambezi basin, but that "what was surprising was that it (drought) has been so frequent" -- the last drought was only three years ago. As the river gets hotter, 437 million cubic meters of water are evaporating every second, he said. REUTERS/Staff

Victoria Falls during a prolonged drought, December 4, 2019. Kling said early climate models had predicted more frequent dry years in the Zambezi basin, but that "what was surprising was that it (drought) has been so frequent" -- the last drought was...more

Victoria Falls during a prolonged drought, December 4, 2019. Kling said early climate models had predicted more frequent dry years in the Zambezi basin, but that "what was surprising was that it (drought) has been so frequent" -- the last drought was only three years ago. As the river gets hotter, 437 million cubic meters of water are evaporating every second, he said. REUTERS/Staff
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Victoria Falls on January 17, 2019. Zimbabwe and Zambia have suffered power cuts as they are heavily reliant on hydropower from plants at the Kariba Dam which is on the Zambezi river upstream of the waterfalls.
 REUTERS/Staff

Victoria Falls on January 17, 2019. Zimbabwe and Zambia have suffered power cuts as they are heavily reliant on hydropower from plants at the Kariba Dam which is on the Zambezi river upstream of the waterfalls. REUTERS/Staff

Victoria Falls on January 17, 2019. Zimbabwe and Zambia have suffered power cuts as they are heavily reliant on hydropower from plants at the Kariba Dam which is on the Zambezi river upstream of the waterfalls. REUTERS/Staff
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Victoria Falls after a prolonged drought, December 4, 2019. 
  REUTERS/Staff

Victoria Falls after a prolonged drought, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

Victoria Falls after a prolonged drought, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Staff
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Victoria Falls on January 17, 2019.    REUTERS/Staff

Victoria Falls on January 17, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

Victoria Falls on January 17, 2019. REUTERS/Staff
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Victoria Falls after a prolonged drought, December 4, 2019.   REUTERS/Staff

Victoria Falls after a prolonged drought, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

Victoria Falls after a prolonged drought, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Staff
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Victoria Falls on January 17, 2019. At 100 meters, the vast sheet of water is twice the height of Niagara Falls.   

REUTERS/Staff

Victoria Falls on January 17, 2019. At 100 meters, the vast sheet of water is twice the height of Niagara Falls. REUTERS/Staff

Victoria Falls on January 17, 2019. At 100 meters, the vast sheet of water is twice the height of Niagara Falls. REUTERS/Staff
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A dry section of the Zambezi river is seen above the gorge on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

A dry section of the Zambezi river is seen above the gorge on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

A dry section of the Zambezi river is seen above the gorge on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
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Dry cliffs are seen following a prolonged drought at Victoria Falls, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Dry cliffs are seen following a prolonged drought at Victoria Falls, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Dry cliffs are seen following a prolonged drought at Victoria Falls, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
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Visitors walk along a walkway as spray rises up from a flowing section of Victoria Falls, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Visitors walk along a walkway as spray rises up from a flowing section of Victoria Falls, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Visitors walk along a walkway as spray rises up from a flowing section of Victoria Falls, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
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A dry section of the Zambezi river is seen above the gorge on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

A dry section of the Zambezi river is seen above the gorge on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

A dry section of the Zambezi river is seen above the gorge on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
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Dry cliffs are seen following a prolonged drought at Victoria Falls, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Dry cliffs are seen following a prolonged drought at Victoria Falls, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Dry cliffs are seen following a prolonged drought at Victoria Falls, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
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The Victoria Falls is seen from the air following a prolonged drought from the Zimbabwean side, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

The Victoria Falls is seen from the air following a prolonged drought from the Zimbabwean side, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

The Victoria Falls is seen from the air following a prolonged drought from the Zimbabwean side, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
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Spray rises up in the distance along the parched gorge on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Spray rises up in the distance along the parched gorge on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Spray rises up in the distance along the parched gorge on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
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The Victoria Falls is seen from the air following a prolonged drought from the Zimbabwean side December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

The Victoria Falls is seen from the air following a prolonged drought from the Zimbabwean side December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

The Victoria Falls is seen from the air following a prolonged drought from the Zimbabwean side December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
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Visitors walk over a bridge as dry cliffs are seen along the parched gorge on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Visitors walk over a bridge as dry cliffs are seen along the parched gorge on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Visitors walk over a bridge as dry cliffs are seen along the parched gorge on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
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Visitors take pictures before dry cliffs following a prolonged drought at Victoria Falls, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Visitors take pictures before dry cliffs following a prolonged drought at Victoria Falls, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Visitors take pictures before dry cliffs following a prolonged drought at Victoria Falls, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
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