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In the valley of the Vajont River, about a hundred kilometers north of Venice, stands an old, disused dam. The vast wall of white, wedged high up in the rocks of the narrow gorge, was constructed to harness the waters of a small mountain river in order to create a lake from which hydroelectric power could be generated to feed northern Italy's postwar development and economic growth. But the engineers and geologists ignored the early warning signs, leading to a disaster of cataclysmic proportions.

The Vajont Dam was constructed between 1956 and 1960. It was a double-curvature arch dam, rising 262 meters above the valley floor, and had the capacity to hold back 168 million cubic meters of water. At the time of its construction, it was the tallest dam of its kind in the world.

Vajont Dam Disaster

The Vajont dam and reservoir on September 1963, one month before the disaster.


© Amusing Planet, 2020.



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