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Expecting A Disaster: The 1963 Landslide of the Vajont Dam
The valley of Vajont (or Vaiont) in the Italian Dolomites is characterized in the upper part by a broad catchment area, eroded by ancient glaciers, and a narrow gorge, carved into limestones by the river Vajont, in the lower part. This peculiar shape made this valley a perfect site for a dam and a hydroelectric power station.
Construction of the Vajont dam started in 1956 and was completed in 1960. At the time it was the highest double-curvature arch dam in the world, rising 261.6 meters above the valley floor, with a capacity of 150 to 168 million cubic meters of water.