WHERE: Vajont Dam . Longarone, is situated at about 100 kilometers North of the city of Venice, Italy.
WHEN: October 9th 1963 at 10:23 pm.
WHAT HAPPENED: A PORTION OF A MOUNTAIN (270 MILLION CUBIC METERS IN WEIGHT AND TWO KILOMETERS IN LENGHT) FELL DOWN ON THE BASIN BEHIND THE DAM (CONTAINING 115 MILLION CUBIC METERS OF WATER) 30 MILLION CUBIC METERS OF WATER CREATED A HUGE WAVE THAT OVERPASSED THE DAM AND FUNNELED ITSELF INTO A CANYON LEADING TO THE VALLEY BELOW, DESTROYING VILLAGES AND TOWNS ALONG WITH 2000 LIVES IN A MATTER OF TWO MINUTES.
CAUSES AND RESPONSABILITIES:
Before the dam was even built, sismologists had warned the company that was financing the project (SADE) that the site was not safe for such a venture. The TOC mountain (from which the huge amount of material came down) was always considered INSTABLE. The company ignored the warnings because the demand for energy was very high and the structures as this dam were very few in the national territory. Few days before the tragedy, following reports that the mass was moving and the mountain could have collapsed the managment decided to pump more water into the basin thus creating a “support of water” to the mountain that was ready to come down inside the basin itself.
The crazy order “To let the water out of the basin and reduce the amount of water inside of it, following further instability reports” the day before the tragedy, took the “watery support” away from the base of the mountain.
TODAY: Towns affected by this event were all rebuilt, but the wounds of what happened that night are still opened. None of the people responsible of this were convicted (with the help of politicians that were behind the deal), one committed suicide two years after the tracig event. Greed and corruption were the main causes of the death of TWO THOUSAND PEOPLE
Take a look at these photos: BEFORE AND AFTER THE TRAGEDY