June 14th, 2007

blue2

Damino topple

A huge disaster I'd never heard of.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banqiao_Dam

(excerpt)
A half hour later, at 1:00 a.m., water crested at the Banqiao Dam and it too failed. This precipitated the failure of 62 dams in total. The runoff of Banqiao Dam was 13,000 m³/s in (10 acre feet/s) / 78,800 m³/s out (63 acre feet/s) and 701 million tons of water was released in 6 hours[1], while 1,670 million tons of water was released in 5.5 hours at upriver Shimantan Dam, and 15.738 billion tons of water was released in total.

The resulting flood waters caused a large wave, which was 10 kilometers (6 miles) wide, 3-7 meters (9-23 feet) high in Suiping, to rush downwards into the plains below at nearly 50 kilometers per hour (31 mph), almost wiped out an area 55 kilometers long, 15 kilometers wide, and created temporary lakes as large as 12,000 km² (4,600 square miles).

Great. Good thing they're building this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Gorges_Dam