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Banqiao Dam Flood (1975)

  • By: Kristin Stevens
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

Typhoon Nina struck China's Henan Province in August 1975. The Banqiao Dam was one of 62 dams that collapsed, causing extraordinary loss of life and catastrophic damage. The death toll was 26,000 from flooding, with additional deaths estimated at 145,000 from epidemics and famine following the flooding.

In the 1950s, the Banqiao Dam was built on the Ru River to help manage flooding on the Yellow River. The dam, designed for a 1,000-year flood, was 387 feet high with a storage capacity of 492 million cubic meters. Upon completion, cracks in the dam appeared as a result of construction and engineering errors; these cracks were repaired, and the dam was considered invincible.

Following days of earlier storms, Typhoon Nina produced flooding that was twice the 1,000-year ...

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