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Dam failures are always catastrophic, especially on the downstream side, resulting in a colossal loss of life and property. Analyze the various causes of dam failures. Give two examples of large dam failures. (150 words)

Introduction: Dam failures in India have led to significant loss of life and property, with various factors contributing to these catastrophic events.

Causes of dam failures in India:

  1. Overtopping: Excessive water spilling over the top of a dam, often a precursor to dam failure.
  2. Structural failure: Inadequate design, construction materials, or maintenance can lead to dam collapse.
  3. Extreme weather events: Heavy rainfall or flooding can cause dam failures, as seen in the 1979 Machchhu dam failure.
  4. Geological instability: Landslides or tectonic activity can compromise dam structures.
  5. Human intervention: Construction projects in remote areas without considering the landscape’s structural integrity can exacerbate dam failures.

Examples of large dam failures in India:

  1. 1979 Machchhu dam failure: Excessive rain and flooding led to the disintegration of the earthen walls of the Machchhu-2 dam in Gujarat, causing immense damage and loss of life.
  2. 2021 Annamayya reservoir failure: In Andhra Pradesh, the Annamayya reservoir failure resulted in the death of at least 20 people.

Conclusion: Addressing the various causes of dam failures and implementing effective risk reduction measures can help prevent future catastrophes and minimize the loss of life and property.

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