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Vajont Dam tragedy


R.I.P. Léo
DP Veteran
Oct 2, 2006
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In 1959, a dam was built in the Vajont Valley in northern Italy. This dam, which was the tallest in the world, was designed to produce electricity.

However, when the engineers filled the artificial lake, the mountain on one of its side started moving, there were several small landslides, and one day the whole side of the mountain moved down by 22 cm.

Still, they decided to complete the filling of the lake, and on October 9, 1963, the whole side of the mountain (260 millions of cubic metres, that would be a square of rock whose base is one kilometer large and one kilometer long, and as high as a skyscrapper) collapsed into the lake.

A 260 meters high wave destroyed the village that was located on the other side of the valley (around 200 meters higher than the level of the artificial lake!!) and then fell on the villages located down the dam (= the water fell around 500 meters), destroying them.

Everything was swept away by the wave, and there is nothing left of these villages. Only the "highest" half of Casso (the village located 200 meters higher than the lake) still remains today and is abandoned

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That is the valley where the wave fell, from the left to the right

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Casso, abandoned houses

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Casso, abandoned houses with the collapsed mountain in the background

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The dam and the "new mountain" that stands where the artificial lake was located

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The collapsed mountain with the "new mountain" on the foreground
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Around 2000 people died in the catastrophe, 315 families were totally destroyed. But no one can tell the exact death toll since everything was swept away to the sea, and few corpses were found.
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