Mass movement case study: Vajont dam Italy 1963

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Global issues revision
Mass movement case study: Vajont dam, Italy 1963
Effects
2000 deaths
Land below dam covered in thick layer of mud, flattening the valley
200m wave destroyed villages below dam
Power supply destroyed moments before the wave struck
Entire villages destroyed so all services lost meaning any survivors would
have nothing to back to.
73 people saved from the rubble due to rescue efforts
Responses
Short term
10,000 rescue workers deployed to the site to rescue any survivors
Machinery such as amphibious vehicles, bulldozers and power shovels used
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 and basic survival gear
850 fire crews and 3 helicopters deployed to rescue and clear debris.
Long term
Villages rebuilt with modern housing and technologies
Survivors entitled to business start up loans, public subsidies and tax
exemptions to help with economic recovery
Pumping station installed to keep lake at a constant level
Dam wall still in place and there have been no plans to exploit it, the dry
reservoir behind the dam is filled with debris from the land slide and is now
open to tourists since 2002.
Raised level of knowledge on dam construction and has heavily influenced
the field of geological engineering.
Causes
Largely down to the failure of humans to understand the geology of the landscape
around the dam

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Global issues revision
Assumed that a large land slide couldn't occur as the investigation of the
left bank, following evidence that it was unstable, including 3 bore hole
drillings and seismic investigations found no signs of weakness so it was
assumed the slope was made of stable rock.
Water levels were repeatedly lowered and raised to bring the landslide
down in a controlled fashion. This worked for a time but ended up
increasing the slopes speed.…read more

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