natural hazards mass movement case study: Vajont dam disaster

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Global issues environmental issues
Natural hazards mass movement case study: Vajont dam disaster, Italy-October
2000 deaths
Land below the dam covered in 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 in to darkness
As entire villages were destroyed all services that come with them such as
schools, medical centres, and places of work were lost. Any survivors would
have nothing to go back to.
Due to rescue efforts 73 people were saved from the rubble and debris
Short term
10, 000 rescue workers including thousands of volunteers were deployed to
the site to rescue any survivors.
Machinery such as amphibious vehicles, bulldozers, electric generating sets
and power shovels for excavating 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.
850 fire crews accompanied by 3 helicopters and 271 pieces of machinery
were deployed to rescue, assist and clear debris
Long term
Villages were rebuilt with modern housing and technologies.
Survivors were entitled to business start up loans, public subsidies and tax
exemptions to help them recover economically from the disaster.
Pumping station installed to keep the 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 that is now filled with the debris from the
land slide is now open to tourists since 2002.
The disaster has raised the level of knowledge on dam construction and has
heavily influenced the field of geological engineering.

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Global issues environmental issues
This disaster was largely down to the failure of humans to understand the geology
of the landscape around the dam.
An assumption was made that no landslides that were large enough to cause a
tsunami would occur. There were concerns that there had been large
landslide in the past and that this meant that the left bank was unstable.…read more

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Global issues environmental issues
lowered enough for the wave to be held back by the dam, preventing the
disaster completely.…read more


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