• Short Summary

    DRAMATIC FILM OF THE RESERVOIR DISASTER THAT DEVASTATED A LOS ANGELES SUBURB. THE RESERVOIR BURST?

  • Description

    DRAMATIC FILM OF THE RESERVOIR DISASTER THAT DEVASTATED A LOS ANGELES SUBURB. THE RESERVOIR BURST ON SATURDAY, HURLING THREE MILLION GALLONS OF WATER ON A DESTRUCTIVE RAMPAGE THROUGH THE THICKLY-POPULATED DISTRICT OF BALDWIN HILLS.

    LATEST REPORTS PUT THE DEATH TOLL AT FOUR, WITH SCORES OF PEOPLE INJURED. THE SURGING WATERS CHURNED THROUGH STREETS, RIPPING APART AT LEAST 50 HOUSES, AND TOSSING CARS AND TREES LIKE MATCH-STICKS.

    THE DISASTER COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE BUT FOR A KEEN-EYED ENGINEER WHO SPOTTED A PENCIL-THIN CRACK IN THE RESERVOIR WALL THROUGH WHICH WATER WAS SEEPING. WATER BOARD OFFICIALS ISSUED A WARNING AND HUNDREDS OF RESIDENTS BEGAN EVACUATING THEIR HOMES.

    THREE HOURS, LATER, THE SPLIT IN THE RESERVOIR'S EARTHEN WALL SUDDENLY DISINTEGRATED INTO A GAPING SEVEN-FOOT CRACK. THE WATER -- OVER A MILLION TONS OF IT -- EXPLODED OUT OF THE RESERVOIR WITH A CANON-LIKE ROAR.

    ENTIRE ROWS OF HOUSES AND FLATS DISAPPEARED IN THE ONRUSH OF WATER. ROOFTOPS WERE FLIPPED ONTO THE TOPS OF NEARBY TREES. SCORES OF ABANDONED CARS WERE SWEPT AWAY. NBC CAMERAMAN DEXTER ALLEY WAS ON THE SPOT AND FILMED THESE GRAPHIC SCENES AT THE HEIGHT OF THE TRAGEDY.

    THE WATER CARVED A GIANT FURROW THROUGH THE RESIDENTIAL SECTOR, FANNING OUT OVER A WIDE AREA BEFORE POURING WEST TOWARD THE SEA. AFTER IT DRAINED AWAY, WHOLE BLOCKS HAD BEEN SWEPT CLEAR OF BUILDINGS. THEN THE SEARCH BEGAN FOR VICTIMS AMONG THE DEBRIS AND CONGEALING SEA OF MUD.

    DAMAGE IS ESTIMATED AT NEARLY GBP4 MILLION, AND THE DISTRICT HAS BEEN DECLARED A DISASTER AREA. CAUSE OF THE DAM COLLAPSE IS STILL UNCERTAIN. CHIEF THEORY IS THAT THE WALL WAS WEAKENED BY LAND SUBSIDENCE CAUSED BY OIL WELL DRILLINGS IN THE SURROUNDING HILLS.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA53U970BMJ4OQWKHM3UTFFNDJ5
    Media URN:
    VLVA53U970BMJ4OQWKHM3UTFFNDJ5
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    16/12/1963
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:03:58:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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