Have you seen the news out of Florida this month about a toxic wastewater reservoir facing imminent collapse? The thing that initially caught my attention about this story was when it was first being reported, news organizations were falsely claiming that the water was “radioactive.” This simply is not true. And while the water has a massive amount of toxic metals in it, that doesn’t mean it’s nuclear-sourced or radioactive. Would you die if you drank the water? Maybe, but it still doesn’t mean it’s radioactive.
Still, even if the water was completely pure, the possibility of a dam failure is always bad news.
Here are the five worst dam failures in history.
Banquio and Shimantan Dams: China, 1975
171,000 people died as a result of this catastrophic dam failure that was caused by extreme rainfall.
Machchu-2 Dam: India, 1979
5,000 people died in this terrible disaster. Again, this was caused by what has been described as “intense” rainfall.
South Fork Dam/Johnstown Flood: United States, 1889
Some people called this an “act of God.”1,600 houses were destroyed. This dam failure is blamed on poor maintenance.
Vajont Dam: Italy, 1963
In this case, the dam wasn’t what failed. What failed was the valley walls holding in the water. A massive land slide occurred which then forced water over the dam killing 2,000 people.
Mohne Dam: Germany, 1943
Unlike most dam failures, which are caused by weather or poor maintenance. This dam failure was caused by bombing during WWII.
So, let’s hope and pray that they can get this immanent dam failure under control in Florida, regardless of the fact that the water is “toxic.” A dam failure is bad no matter how bad the water is.