Fears German dam could collapse as severe flooding hits Europe

A reservoir dam near Cologne, Germany is at risk of collapse as the region is hit by severe flooding.

Authorities in the Rhine-Sieg county south of Cologne have ordered the evacuation of several villages below the Steinbach reservoir amid fears the dam there could suffer a catastrophic failure.

Flooding in Germany and Belgium has so far claimed the lives of 92 people with hundreds more unaccounted for.

The Steinbach valley drinking water dam was built from 1934 to 1936, and thoroughly renovated between 1988 and 1990.

The reservoir covers 14.6ha and is 17.4m deep at its deepest point. It has a total capacity of 1M.m3

A major renovation was carried out to dam in the 1940s after two cracks appeared in the dam’s crown and erosion was detected in its the clay core.

Further work was carried out between August 1988 to June 1990 due to fears of further erosion.

The German regions of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia have been worst hit, but the Netherlands and Belgium is also badly affected.

Landslips have been recorded in all three countries with many rail lines and roads closed.

More heavy rain is forecast across Europe on Friday.

Officials have blamed climate change.

Armin Laschet, the premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, blamed the extreme weather on global warming.

“We will be faced with such events over and over, and that means we need to speed up climate protection measures […] because climate change isn’t confined to one state,” he said.


Source: Civil Engineer



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