One of the Worst Man-Made Disasters in History

NARRATOR: 1957. 70 miles from Venice,
amid the cliffs and gorges of Italy’s Vajont River Valley,
work begins on the Vajont Hydroelectric Dam. Crucial to the
dam’s operation is a vast reservoir that can hold
44 billion gallons of water. Ever since the filling of
the reservoir in early 1960, enormous cracks have begun
appearing on Mount Toc, above the dam. LUCIA FILIPPIN (IN
ITALIAN): People could sense that something
big was about to happen because the ground was
moving and suddenly, new cracks would appear,
very deep and very large. NARRATOR: Then, in late
1960, another warning sign. This time, it’s a landslide. Though relatively small,
it prompts a flurry of scientific research. What it confirms is shocking. As a direct result of
filling the reservoir, Mount Toc has
become waterlogged, dislodging a 720 million
ton chunk of rock that is now slowly slipping down
the mountain towards the lake below. And so, in 1962, the
authorities lower the water by over 70 feet. At that level, they are
confident the dam can’t be overtopped, provided
the landslide falls into the reservoir at
the speed they expect. Even as locals grow
uneasy, officials remain confident that
the threat is minimal. FRANCESCO NICCOLINI
(IN ITALIAN): No one had been
warned in Longarone. There were no official warnings. There were just the warnings
coming from the mountain. NARRATOR: October 9, 1963. Traveling at over 60 miles
an hour, three times faster than expected, the mile and
a half wide chunk of rock is finally unleashed. In its sights– the
enormous Vajont reservoir. FRANCESCO NICCOLINI
(IN ITALIAN): How can you imagine nine
billion cubic feet of rock breaking away from a mountain
and falling into a basin filled almost to the brim? NARRATOR: It sends two giant
waves in opposite directions, one towards the dam, the other
towards the village of Erto. Traveling in over
30 miles an hour, the first wave engulfs farms
and houses all along the shore, killing most of their occupants. Shielded by a spur in the
mouth, the village of Erto is miraculously spared
the worst of the wave. At the opposite end
of the reservoir, the second tsunami
is now hurtling towards the Vajont Dam. It sends more than 275 million
tons of water over the edge and into the valley below. In its crosshairs, nearly
5,000 inhabitants of Longarone, with nowhere to run. The town is gone,
reduced to little more than mud and rubble. Of the town’s 372 buildings,
just 22 are still standing. The rest flattened and washed
away down the Piave River, towards Venice. ELISA DI BENEDETTO: Longarone
was not there anymore. They could see that Longarone
didn’t exist anymore. There was only mud
and water and ruins. No life at all. NARRATOR: The violent disaster
claimed almost 2000 lives, making it one of the worst
man-made disasters in history.

100 thoughts on “One of the Worst Man-Made Disasters in History

  1. Again and again politicians and unionized government employees are a crime gang.

  2. 3787 people were killed in Bhopal gas tragedy, 16000 estimated. It was worse than this.

  3. Such a bunch of horseshit, you don't "expect" a 720 million tones amount of rock to "fall in the reservoir at a certain speed" , it was clear the dam will be destroyed but they were corrupted like other officials .

  4. How to test an official's confidence: have him move his house next to the dam.

  5. Dam, it's scary. Now I wonder what are the safety guidelines/requirements before making reservoirs on a location… how do engineers hold mountains below it…. do they check the mountain's ability not to sip water? How is that? I got lotsa questions.

    And to think, the water just jumped off the spillway walls (please correct this term) is UGH! It held the tons of soil.

  6. A much worse man-made disaster was Chairman Mao. 50 million died because of that one.

  7. I was just looking at the town on google earth. You can still see the devastation that occurred.

  8. I like the fact that they were expecting it to happen. I don't want to know what would happen if the dam was full up to it's limit…

  9. Not even gunna watch. Just want to tell that humans are the biggest disaster the earth has ever known. Edit. Not to the earth, just all life on earth. Including humans.

  10. Why did the translation have to be "accentised"….? A normal English sound wud have done the job….


  12. I don't think in general, people realize how powerful and heavy water is! Not even a mountain can hold it back if a lot of water builds up force against it! Sadly, Vajont Dam proved that. (And moving water is even more forceful, standing in even 6 to 8 inches of water can knock you off your feet if it is moving fast enough!)

  13. All the dignitaries the mayor important townsfolk the engineers etc went up to the dam to watch it. Imagine the looks on their faces when they knew they were about to be obliterated by this cataclysm

  14. ?️ And This Is Why Man Will Build Their Dams So When They Sin In Wickedness My Father God Can Destroy It. I actually don't get why but up a wall if you know nature doesn't want you to, who made you people rullers….?️

  15. Personally I'd say the Smithsonian is the biggest man made disasters ever to mankind……….The incredibly devious ways they've gone to hiding our true history……FACT.

  16. Another man made disaster, go figure. People…. you are not God, stop pretending you are

  17. This is the second video I’ve seen of Italy ?? claiming to have the worst man-made Dam disaster in history! Once again 2 towns wiped off the map by mud, sand, and water! Out of two whole towns 13 people survived! Basically, Italy needs better engineers like NOW! If they tell you the dam is safe move immediately or you may die!

  18. Again, engineers, planners, specialists underestimate. Too many disasters. Maybe they, like weavers, add extra they don't expect to need but if it turns out they do need it are grateful for it.

  19. I cant concentrate on video itself because that dubbing made me laugh 😀

  20. I'm pretty sure I would have moved when the cracks and "small" landslides started, even though the official word was that it was perfectly safe. And as for the woman being interviewed near the end of the vid: If you don't speak english well, talking in a low voice does NOT improve your speech.

  21. Smithsonian Channel – You've got some problems with the statistics in your video. At 00:12, you say that the reservoir is built to hold "44 billion gallons of water". But at 02:55, you say that the tsunami that went over the face of the dam, weighed "275 million tons". One ton of water is 150 gallons (1 Ton being 2000 lbs, divided by the weight of one gallon, roughly 8 lbs). 275 million tons of water would be nearly 69 billion gallons of water.

    So what you are implying is that the tsunami went in two directions, but the wave that went over the dam encompassed 25 billion gallons more than the reservoir was even capable of holding, this despite the level of the water in the reservoir being significantly lowered (1:20 – lowered by 70 feet). Maybe you should make some adjustments to the numbers you put out, they don't work.

  22. Do research there's a worst disaster in Albania or Serbia where whole town and valley flooded with toxic mud from a mine pool

  23. I highly dislike it when narrators are told to narrate by trying to mimick a certain accent, mostly when they are trying to mimick the interviewee's accent. It's so dumb. Get your heads organized, will you? And, please, narrate with your own natural (American, British, or Australian) accent. I mean, it's so cringy and at times I can't even understand what the narrator is saying…

  24. Like the first nation said" once the waters are undrinkable .trees are ungrowable and air unbeathable only then will we understand we can't eat money"

  25. Something similar happened in Kenya a dam broke and killed so many people. It was negligence.

  26. I would be questioning the date? 9 1963 = 666. These events aren’t natural. These are satanic rituals.

    Making it the second man made disaster in history. Along with the corrupt 9/11 (INSIDE JOB!!) Tjose buildings went down via a controlled demolition.

  27. One of the Worst Man-Made Disasters in History? That's easy. The current Democratic Party.

  28. The worst man-made disaster of modern history must be Hidroituango, in Colombia. Just take a look at it.

  29. This, they fear will also happen in Norway, as portaide by the movie The Wave.

  30. Now one of the worlds worse accident is Fukushima nuclear power plants are leaking into ocean since 2011 cant stop it the oceans will soon die then life on earth but no ones says nothing

  31. Amazing the president of italy cant even speak English but all the common folk have it mastered

  32. Did anybody ever come to think maybe it was man who did it …….with a man made silent but violent weapons hahahahahaha …somebody wouldnt do that would they for a big some of money I believe somebody would do that but not all came through

  33. Can't wait till theres a Smithsonian about the once existed Democrat party ??????

  34. It's never nature's fault, just arrogance of Men in power,
    Failure to respect the Law of Nature

  35. e nulla è cambiato… a dimostrazione di questo ci hanno donato il disastro colposo del ponte Morandi

  36. 0:13 this image is wrong: the valley was much more deep. the photo shows the part of the dam exposed today: there are 200m more hidden by the landslide. you can see it at 1:31

  37. Proof God hates Wops as much as the rest of the world does.

  38. Let's consider that mount "toc" in local dialect means "piece".. Elderly ppl use to say that that mount was going to collapse…..
    But money makes the world go round…

  39. What about Aberfan in Wales that was a very bad disaster, it killed a school filled with children


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