Vajont Dam .A Monument to greed made of 2000 lost lives

(by pio dal cin)

Today I took the longest bike ride I ever did in a single day, 153 kilometers. I could have taken my car, but choose to slowly ride up to a very particular place. the Vajont Dam
What happened here on the night of October the 9th 1963 was deemed by the U.N. as "The worst disaster ever provoked by man in history"

Just look at the photos above. The first on top shows the dam with trees and material just behind it. The second here, with the town of Erto shows in the background the 
Landslide fully described here that caused the disaster.

When the landslide reached the basin below, with its two kilometers front it created a huge wave that discharged fifty millions of cubic water into the town of Longarone down below killing 1910 people including 708 children under the age of fifteen.
Here you can see the town that was rebuilt.

The village of Vajont that was directly below the dam when the huge wave hit, disappeared leaving a 60 meter deep lake in its place, killing everyone.

Why this happened? Could have it been prevented? Yes it could have but the greed made the people responsible ignoring the warnings that  came from the locals and from various studies who returned a firm no into building a dam where geological instability was as evident as daylight.

In order to cash in as much as they could on the electricity provided by the dam, those responsible raised the level of water 15 meters above security. That is was triggered the landslide.
The insane decision by the head engineer of lowering the level of the 5 million cubic meters basin by one meter a day did the rest.

Like a sand castle on the beach the enormous landslide came down with a roar that was heard from miles away.

It took four minutes for the wave to reach the town ofLongarone (go to minute 2:03 to listen to the dam's disaster)

In 2001 an Italian movie director, Renzo Martinelli shotThis dramatic movie of the disaster

This year marks the 50th anniversary of this insanity, caused by the greed of man.

The dam can be visited daily. An expert of the disaster will talk and explain all the details.You will be able to walk on top of the dam in a breathtaking experience, in total safety
The dam was considered a jewel of Italian engineering. The huge wave in fact did not damage it, it went over it without destroying it.

The expert shows the area of the basin where the landslide hit
Walking on the dam, interesting and sad.
Enhanced by Zemanta