The Most Horrific Dam Failures in History

Despite their sturdy appearance, dams fail all the time, causing unforetold devastation.
Loukia Papadopoulos

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Did you know that there were over 200 notable dam failures around the world between 2000 and 2009? And that number is only set to increase as dams age and climate change makes extreme weather events more common. In light of this fact, in this video, we bring you seven of the most extreme and deadliest dam failures in history. 

The 1975 Banqiao Reservoir Dam failure is considered the deadliest in history. This is because it had a total capacity of 492 million cubic meters and when Typhoon Nina hit in 1974, it brought heavy rainfall that eventually caused the dam to give way. This event caused an estimated devastating 170,000 to 230,000 deaths and resulted in 11 million people losing their homes.

Then, in 1979, the Machchhu II Dam burst, flooding the town of Morbi in Gujarat, India due to excessive rain from monsoon storms. Not only did 5,000 people die but the flood also damaged the surrounding farmland, resulting in lower agricultural yield in future years. Does this sound scary? That's because it is.

Luckily, there are plenty of measures that engineers can take to make dams safer and sturdier. What are these measures and what are the rest of the deadliest dam failures? Watch our video to find out.

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