Mass movement case study vajont dam

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Earth hazards revision
Mass movement case study: Vajont dam disaster, Italy, October 1963
Effects
2000 deaths
Land below dam destroyed by a thick layer of mud flattening the valley.
200m wave destroyed several villages below the dam
Power supply destroyed, moments before wave struck the villages, plunging
them into darkness
As entire villages were destroyed all services that came with them such as
schools, medical centres and places of work were also lost. Any survivors
had nothing to do back to.
Responses
Short term
10,000 rescue workers including thousands of volunteers were deployed to
the site to rescue my survivors.
Machinery such as amphibious vehicles, bulldozers, generators, and power
shovels to excavate rubble
Ambulances and health and sanitation supplies deployed to treat survivors
and help prevent disease.
Temporary kitchens set up to feed survivors as well as temporary
accommodation such as tents and basic survival gear.
Long term
Villages rebuilt with modern housing and technologies
Survivors were entitled to business start up loans, public subsidies and tax
exemptions to help them recover economically.
Pumping station installed to keep lake at a constant level.
The dam wall is still in place and there have been no plans to exploit it, the
dry reservoir behind the dam is now filled with debris from the landslide
and is open to tourists as of 2002.
The disaster has raised the level of knowledge on dam construction and has
heavily influenced the field of geological engineering.
Causes
Largely due to the failure of humans to understand the geology of the landscape
around the dam.

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Earth hazards revision
The possibility of a major landslide was ignored even though one had
occurred in the past and hence the left bank was unstable. A seismic
investigation involving 3 bore holes drilled found no sign of weakness, so it
was assumed the valley was safe and stable. Ignoring any possibility of a
landslide meant little was done to prepare for it.
Water levels were repeatedly raised and lowered to lower the landslide
that was discovered after a landslide in 1960, safely.…read more

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