Dams at Risk: 65-Foot Crack in Washington State Dam

A large crack has been found in the Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River which supports the utility power supply to a major cluster of data centers in central Washington state.


65-Foot Crack Found in Washington State Dam (Feb 25)

The 2-inch-wide crack was found Thursday after divers were sent into the Columbia River because engineers detected a misalignment in a spillway on Wanapum Dam near the central Washington town of Vantage, said Tom Stredwick, a spokesman for the Grant County Public Utility District.

The Wanapum Dam generates more than 1,000 megawatts of electricity for the Grant County PUD, the utility that provides electricity to major data centers operated by Microsoft, Yahoo, Dell, Sabey Data Centers and Vantage Data Centers.

On February 25, dam officials noticed an irregular bowing of the dam near a section of a spillgate pier along the mile-long structure. Divers examined the area Thursday and discovered a two-inch wide crack running horizontally, located about 75 feet below the water’s surface. It runs the entire width of the 65-foot-wide pier.

The risk of a failure of the dam is high enough that the county has initiated an emergency plan. To relieve pressure on the dam, the water level is being lowered by 20 feet.




Owen Falls Dam in Uganda Falling Apart (Feb 28)
The Owen Falls dam in Jinja could cave in, if the cracks and damage to the dam are not repaired, an official of Eskom, the hydro power generation company, has said.

Huge cracks continue to develop in the walls and supporting pillars of the dam. Water continuously sips through the gaping holes, expanding the cracks and making the dam weaker by the day.




Lake Manatee Dam at Risk of Collapse (Feb 14)

The Lake Manatee Dam in Bradeton, Florida is in a "severely distressed state" because of erosion, engineering consultants have found, forcing county officials to take corrective actions.

Heavy rains over four or five days could compromise the Lake Manatee Dam, Manatee County government warned in a news release February 14.

As a precaution, workers have begun to lower the water level of the lake.

Engineers and officials are concerned that the dam's clay core may have been compromised.





Water Gushes over Crumbling Dam in Zimbabwe (Feb 9)

A dam on the Tokwe river in the Masvingo area of Zimbabwe is close to bursting as water from heavy rains finding its way through gaps in the uncompleted dam wall.

Construction of the Tokwe Mukorsi dam began in 1998 but stalled in 2008. The dam was due to be completed at the end of last year but the deadline has passed with construction still not finished. Pictures from the area show water gushing through breaks in the wall and a huge build up of water in the reservoir behind it. Villagers have been evacuated as quickly as possible, with around 4,000 people believed to be at risk should the dam burst.

According to the Daily News, the Zimbabwe Air Force is helping people evacuate. The Minister for Masvingo province is quoted as saying that the government is on high alert and "A helicopter from the AFZ has been airlifting some families who were marooned by the floods but we are not yet sure how many people are still marooned."



"All dams will break either during the pole shift or in the months leading up to the hour of the shift. Look at the structure of the dam! It assumes that rock holding both sides of the dam will remain in place and not move. Of course these sides will move. This is a subduction zone! There is mountain building and even where the mountains are not being pushed upward, they are moving from side to side. Some parts are more fluid than others, which are more resistant during any earthquake thrust, so there IS inevitably movement to the side. They will pull apart, slide forward or backwards, but in any case the water will find its way around the dam." 

ZetaTalk Chat Q&A: July 18, 2009

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Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on April 8, 2019 at 4:36am


Dam with mine waste collapses in Brazil; 7 dead, 200 missing

April 6, 2019

SAO PAULO — A dam that held back mining waste collapsed Friday in Brazil, inundating a nearby community in reddish-brown sludge, killing at least seven people and leaving scores of others missing.

Parts of the city of Brumadinho were evacuated, and firefighters rescued people by helicopter and ground vehicles. Local television channel TV Record showed a helicopter hovering inches off the ground as it pulled people covered in mud out of the waste.

Photos showed rooftops poking above an extensive field of the mud, which also cut off roads. The flow of waste reached the nearby community of Vila Ferteco and an administrative office for Brazilian mining company Vale SA, where employees were present.

“‘I‘ve never seen anything like it,” Josiele Rosa Silva Tomas, president of Brumadinho resident‘s association, told The Associated Press by phone. “It was horrible … the amount of mud that took over.”

Silva Tomas said she was awaiting news of her cousin, and many people she knew were trying to get news of loved ones.

Cattle are covered by mining debris after a mine collapsed near Brumadinho, Brazil, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. Brazilian mining company Vale SA said it didn’t yet have information on deaths or injuries at the dam but said that tailings have reached the community of Vila Ferteco. (Leo Drumond/Nitro via AP)

Seven bodies had been recovered by late Friday, according to a statement from the governor‘s office of Minas Gerais state.

Vale CEO Fabio Schvartsman said he did not know what caused the collapse. About 300 employees were working when it happened. About 100 had been accounted for, and rescue efforts were under way to determine what had happened to the others.

“The principal victims were our own workers,” Schvartzman told a news conference Friday evening. He said a restaurant was buried by the mud at lunchtime.

Another dam administered by Vale and Australian mining company BHP Billiton collapsed in 2015 in the city of Mariana in Minas Gerais state, resulting in 19 deaths and forcing hundreds from their homes.

Considered the worst environmental disaster in Brazilian history, it left 250,000 people without drinking water and killed thousands of fish. An estimated 60 million cubic meters of waste flooded rivers and eventually flowed into the Atlantic Ocean.

An aerial view shows flooding triggered by a dam collapse near Brumadinho, Brazil, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. Brazilian mining company Vale SA said it didn’t yet have information on deaths or injuries at the dam but said that tailings have reached the community of Vila Ferteco.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on March 26, 2019 at 2:10am


Brazilians Evacuate Minas Gerais Over Fear of Dam Collapse

BRAZIL: On Saturday, the mining company Vale called for residents of the state of Minas Gerais to evacuate after reports that a dam in the region could collapse. The company had raised the risk level to the highest grade in the mining town of Barão de Cocais on Friday. The high-risk level indicates that “a rupture is imminent or already happening,” according to Brazil’s mining and energy secretary.

Four hundred and forty-two people were previously evacuated from within a 10-kilometer radius of the dam in February. The evacuation comes after a Vale-operated dam collapsed in the city of Brumadinho in January, burying 154 people alive and killing a total of about 300.

another link:


Brazil dam in danger of collapse, mining company warns

Updated 3:00 pm PDT, Sunday, March 24, 2019

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian mining giant Vale announced communities in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais have been ordered to evacuate after independent auditors found one of its dams could collapse at any moment.

On Friday, the company raised the level of risk at a mining waste dam in the city of Barao de Cocais to three, the highest grade. According to Brazil’s mining and energy secretary, level three means that “a rupture is imminent or already happening.

Residents within a 6-mile perimeter of the dam had already been told to leave by state authorities in February after Vale raised risk levels to grade two, a company spokesperson told the Associated Press. The spokesperson, who asked not to be identified, said 442 people had been relocated to temporary housing or with family members since February.

Lt. Col. Flavio Godinho, of the state’s civil defense department, told reporters that authorities are studying the Barao de Cocais structure to review the existing contingency plan.

“Any activity at the dam could trigger a rupture,” Godinho said on Globo TV.

The news comes nearly two months after another Vale-operated dam in the nearby city of Brumadinho collapsed, unleashing a wave of toxic mud that contaminated rivers and killed about 300 people. continues...

Comment by Juan F Martinez on March 19, 2019 at 9:00pm

This is what is left of the Spencer Dam in Nebraska.  Disastrous flooding has struck parts of the Plains and Midwest, inundating towns and damaging infrastructure. These before-and-after images give a view of what some of the hardest-hit locations in Nebraska and Iowa are dealing with.

3-18-2019 Update: https://weather.com/news/news/2019-03-17-flooding-before-and-after-...

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on March 2, 2019 at 6:54am


Supervisors Concerned Already Damaged Dam Could Collapse

With more rain in the forecast, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors met Wednesday morning for an emergency meeting to discuss the damaged Audubon dam.

The dam, located in Audubon subdivision, adjacent to the Northpointe subdivision, eroded after more than 11 inches of rain fell in Lafayette County Friday and Saturday, causing a huge hole that was – and still is – in imminent danger of collapsing.

The dam is owned by the Audubon homeowners association.

Emergency Management Director Steve Quarles said steps were taken Saturday to reduce the water level in the dam, however, more rain is expected to start this afternoon through Sunday.

“There are no houses in danger of flooding right now,” said Supervisor Jeff Busby.

The danger, according to County Engineer Larry Britt, is the damn failing completely with the coming rain which would cause water to go under a private road and blow out the lift station there which could cause sewage to leak out onto the ground and into the streams.

County Building Official Joel Hollowell said the homeowners association can’t afford to make the immediate emergency repairs before the rains move in later today.

The supervisors agreed to spend about $1,000 to allow county road crews to shore up the dam.

“We are not completely repairing the dam,” Busby said. “We are just getting it to a safe level so the homeowners’ association can repair it.”

To allow county crews to make the emergency repairs, the supervisors needed to find there is a public health and safety risk so crews could go on private property and adopted a proclamation of an “existence of a local emergency commencing at 5 a.m. on Feb. 22, 2019.”

The board also approved adopted a resolution requesting that Gov. Phil Bryant proclaims a state of emergency for Lafayette County due to the damaged roads and structures during the heavy rains last week.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on February 14, 2019 at 5:57am


Fears for up to 38 miners trapped in flooded Kadoma mine after dam bursts

22:47, 13 Feb 2019

An emergency was declared at 11PM on Tuesday when a dam burst, and water blanketed the area

KADOMA – Up to 38 artisanal miners are feared dead after water from a collapsed dam flooded their positions at two underground mines in Battlefields between Kadoma and Kwekwe.

Emergency services were activated on Wednesday to look for survivors and retrieve bodies after rains overnight Tuesday pounded the area leading to the collapse of a dam wall.

The water swamped the area, creating sinkholes and flooding the mine shafts used by the illegal miners.

Police said between 23 and 38 miners are believed to have gone underground at Silver Moon Mine and at Cricket Mine on Tuesday evening. Cricket Mine is owned by RioZim, while Silver Moon is owned by a Baxter.

An emergency was declared at 11PM when the dam burst, and water blanketed the area.

Mashonaland West police said water levels at the two underground mines were still rising, raising fears that the rescue mission has now turned into a recovery mission.

“We have the Civil Protection Unit on the ground leading the rescue and recovery effort, but before that can begin the water must be drained out first. This requires heavy duty pumps because we are still seeing the water levels rising,” said Inspector Clemence Mabweazara, the provincial police spokesman.

Cecilia Chitiyo, the Mashonaland West provincial administrator, said they had sent an SOS to nearby mines as well as major miners like Zimplats to send in their rescue teams.

By Wednesday evening, she said they had deployed a pump from RioZim but more were needed.

Wilson Gwatiringa, the RioZim spokesman, said the company would be issuing a statement on Thursday after assessing the situation.

Mine deaths involving illegal miners are commonplace in Zimbabwe, and many go unreported

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on February 12, 2019 at 7:27am


Burst dam in Bandung kills three

Bandung   /   Sun, February 10, 2019   /   12:14 pm

Heavy rains in Bandung, West Java and its surrounding areas on Saturday night caused the dam holding the Cinambo River in Pasar Jati, Bandung regency to burst, resulting in flooding that claimed three lives.

The flooding hit residential areas in Cigending subdistrict, Ujungberung district and several houses in the Endah regency complex, where eight people were dragged away by the strong currents.

The Bandung search and rescue (SAR) office said three people, including a baby, had been declared dead, while five people had been rescued.

The victims were identified as Phida, 40, Hani, 25 and Raifan, 1.

“The joint SAR team has moved all residents affected by the flooding to a safer location,” Bandung SAR spokesperson Joshua Banjarnahor said on Sunday.

He added that the flooding had receded and that evacuations had been completed.

“Therefore we suggest that the SAR operations be closed,” he said.

Meanwhile in Bandung municipality, a flood carried away a resident and killed the man.

Joshua said the body was found in drainage about 3 kilometers from where he was carried away. The body has yet to be identified. (kmt)

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on February 9, 2019 at 7:22pm


New Evacuations Ordered by Mining Companies Over Fears of More Dam Collapses In Brazil

Comment by Recall 15 on January 25, 2019 at 11:03pm

January 25, 2019 Brazil 17h10

Firefighters: Brumadinho dam breach leaves 200 missing
There is still no confirmation on the death toll
The Minas Gerais Fire Department said about 200 people were missing after the dam broke at Vale Mine's Beja Mine in Brumadinho early on Friday afternoon (25).

From Link:


Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on December 30, 2018 at 8:41pm


Roads closed due to partial collapse of dam wall at Benoni Lake

27 December 2018 - 12:54

The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department has closed Bunyan and Tom Jones roads in Benoni, as well as the nearby N12 on- and off-ramps, following the appearance of cracks in a dam wall.

Ekurhuleni Executive mayor Mzwandile Masina visited Lakeside on Thursday to inspect the work under way to repair the damage.

Water is currently being pumped from the Middle Lake, "to reduce the water levels to a satisfactory level where engineers can start assessing the severity of the damaged walls and the structural integrity of the entire wall," the city said in a statement on Thursday.

In an earlier statement on Wednesday, the city said that the roads were closed to allow for the pumping, so that personnel on site could "commence with the rehabilitation of the damaged concrete slabs, once the water level is reduced."

"This is to prevent the dam spillway from collapsing." 

The road closure follows an alert from residents on social media during Christmas.


Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on December 11, 2018 at 4:48am


3 Duhok dams ‘near collapse’ after heavy rainfall: officials

Aerial view of recent flooding in the Zarbatia district of Wasit governorate, Iraq, November 20, 2018. Photo: Iraqi Red Crescent Society
Aerial view of recent flooding in the Zarbatia district of Wasit governorate, Iraq, November 20, 2018. Photo: Iraqi Red Crescent Society

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Heavy rainfall has left three dams in Duhok province on the brink of collapse, according to local officials, who say the government is ignoring their pleas for help. Meanwhile, Darbandikhan’s hydroelectric dam near Halabja has vastly increased its power generating capacity.

Since last week, the Kurdistan Region has seen extremely heavy rain leading to flash flooding, particularly in the provinces of Duhok and Sulaimani. Roads and bridges crumbled as soil was rapidly eroded from under them.

“In all countries, there is a high committee for natural disasters, but there isn’t one in Kurdistan. We haven’t been able to sleep for four days due to being fearful of small dams collapsing,” Ziyad Abdullah, director of Duhok’s Department of Irrigation, told Rudaw.

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials have not answered their pleas for assistance, he said. 

Besides Duhok’s large dam, there are 55 smaller ones.

“We only needed 2 million IQD ($1,680) to mitigate the risks to these dams, but no one helped us,” added Abdullah.

Concerned by the rapid buildup of water, engineers were forced to partially open Shiekhan dam to release the pressure. 

Besides the Shiekhan dam, Mam Shivan and Gre Gawre dams also face danger. 

“If we don’t monitor them, they might crack,” said Abdullah.

It is not clear what damage would be caused to urban areas and farmland if any of these dams fail. 

International teams have been working to stabilize Mosul Dam, which remains in danger of collapse. If Mosul Dam fails, cites along the length of the Tigris to the Gulf could suffer inundation – including the capital Baghdad. 

Kurdistan’s Weather Forecast department has warned of further heavy rain from Wednesday.

According to a five year plan (2013-2018) drafted by the KRG, 500 reservoirs and dams were to be constructed in Duhok. The financial crisis, however, prevented that. Just 55 have been built to date.

Ramazan Hamzah, a geology expert from Duhok University, told Rudaw this year was very suitable for storing water – a resource desperately needed across central and southern Iraq.

“Unfortunately, no use was made of that large amount of rain in the past few days. Instead of storing water, now there is danger of floods,” added Hamzah.

The KRG has no strategy for underground and surface water, “at a time when big fights over water are underway,” he added. 

The Kurdistan Region does not suffer from serious water shortages. However, mismanagement and the lack of a culture of water conservation among the public leads to massive waste.

Iraq’s central and southern provinces have seen a dwindling supply of water caused by climate change, drought, and a number of dams built upstream by Turkey on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Baghdad has even banned the cultivation of water-intensive crops.

‘Most rain in 60 years’

One dam in Halabja province has actually benefitted from the deluge. The heavy rainfall has boosted power generating capacity at Darbandikhan hydroelectric plant, which has brought two more turbines online.

“Due to decreasing water levels, only one electricity turbine in the Darbandikhan dam was operational, but due to the increase in the dam’s water level, another turbine became operational, and on Monday, December 10, the third turbine will become operational,” Nasih Malla Hassan, mayor of Darbandikhan, told Rudaw.

A single turbine produces 83 megawatts of electricity. The output of three combined turbines is 249, according to the mayor. Produced electricity has increased from 83 megawatts to 249 megawatts.

In the past four days, there has been 180mm of rainfall in Dabandikhan, increasing the total this year to 390 mm. “Except for 2015, this is the highest amount of rain in the past 60 years in the district,” said Hassan.

However, the rain has also caused serious local flooding – destroying the Darbandikhan-Kalar road.

Darbandikhan’s dam is also not able to store the power created at this high capacity owing to earthquake damage.

The Kurdistan Region suffers from regular power outages. In both the cold season and hot season, demand exceeds supply, critically shortening the hours of electricity. 

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