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Page modified: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 12:07:30

The Zeyzoun dam (also: "Zezoun") at the Orontes river north of Hama (Hamah) in the province aluminium-Ghab in Syria, about 350 or 450 km north of Damascus, broke on 4 June 2002. The number of the victims by the Flutwelle is unclear; in the reports of 20, 22, 27, 50 or up to 100 one speaks.

The building

The kind of the building, which was finished placed to 1996 at the village Zeyzoun, is not well-known. Even if in the reports of a dam one speaks, it could concern nevertheless also a concrete dam. The fact suggests that of tears in the building one speaks. Also in the photos of the ruins (see BBC report 3) the kind of building is to be recognized not exactly.

The building had a height of 32 m over the foundation bed. The storage capacity of the artificial lake amounted to 71 million m Like 150 other dams in Syria this dam was used to the irrigation by fields.

The disaster

It is reported by precipitation in the time before the break. The dam is to have been overful according to population opinion. Against noon 4 of June (09: 00 GMT) tears in the "dam" were discovered. The population was warned thereby and river downward convenient villages could be partly evacuated. Hundreds of humans could flee in time and save themselves into areas lain more highly. Over 15:40 clock local time broke the dam and caused one tide-wave-unites reports already speaks of tears some days before and of bad maintenance of the plant.

With the break many millions cubic meter water were set free, which set several villages up to four meters under water. The red cross and the red Halbmond estimated that 8000 humans had become shelterless. Five villages as well as fields and herds of cattle on altogether 60 square kilometers were flooded. The villages Zeyzoun, Ziara and Qastoun were particularly concerned. The number of the victims is not exactly well-known also therefore, because many Nomaden were in the area. Also areas in Turkey (province Hatay) were set under water.

Syria asked the United Nations after the disaster in assistance, on which a and AC team (United nation Disaster Assessment and Coordination) was sent under participation of the German THW there.

Related links

See also: Dam disasters


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