• Short Summary

    A gigantic natural dam, formed by a landslip in late April, was breached last week (6 June), and the resulting floodwaters have left over twenty villages devastated, and thousands homeless in the Huaccoto region of central Peru.

  • Description

    A gigantic natural dam, formed by a landslip in late April, was breached last week (6 June), and the resulting floodwaters have left over twenty villages devastated, and thousands homeless in the Huaccoto region of central Peru.
    A catastrophe of this king had been almost inevitable since 25 April, when two mountain tops crashed down, burying hundreds of people and blocking the fast-flowing Mantaro River.
    Water built up rapidly behind the natural dam. Until, by Sunday, an artificial lake stretched back almost to the Tablachaca Hydro-Electric installations 20 miles (30 klms) up river. Villages were evacuated along the now dried up river bed below the dam. The villagers were very unwilling to leave the area as they were about to reap what looked like an exceptional harvest. They climbed into the hills for the night, but returned to the fields by day.
    For some days Peruvian engineers took steps to release the water as slowly s possible. Then mining engineers and experts arrived from Europe, Japan and the United States. When the water reached a critical level on 6 June, the dam was breached by dynamite explosions in the hope that its rate of escape could be controlled. At first, the flow of water was slow. But by Sunday night it was pouring through so fast that there were 20 foot waves in the lower channel.
    Evacuated villages along the river were washed away and large areas of cultivated land were devastated.
    The flood damage is estimated at 2.5 million pounds sterling (6 million U.S. dollars). There is also the danger of typhoid form hundreds of human and animal corpses rotting in the mud of the artificial lake.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAA485RG59F75TZF91QHS7ODA8Q
    Media URN:
    VLVAA485RG59F75TZF91QHS7ODA8Q
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    13/06/1974
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:03:07:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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