Panama Canal could seek Emergency Measures due to Drought

16th June 2023 

Officials have warned that under extreme conditions, the Panama Canal will have to implement traffic restrictions due to water shortages in the area. May was the driest month recorded at the Canal since 1950. Administrator Ricaurte Vásquez stated if the current conditions continued then weight restrictions on ships could be implemented or strict limits on the number of how many could transit daily. The Panamanian government has already declared a state of environment emergency due to the prolonged drought. Reducing transiting ships from 36 to 28-32 daily could cause a slowdown in regional trade and be a factor in Central American inflationary pressures.

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