Ovada, Italy Dam Collapse, Aug 1935

1,000 Die in Sudden Flood As Dam Collapses in Italy

Lake Orticella Crushes Wall After Violent
Storm, and Water Rushes Fifteen Feet
Deep Over Fifty Square Miles

TURIN, Italy, Aug. 13 (Reuters)
— About 1,000 persons are believed
to have been drowned by floods
which burst over the town of Ovada,
Piedmont Province, today as
the result of the collapse of the
100-foot-high dam at the end of
Lake Orticella, used in connection
with an electrical power scheme.
An area of fifty square miles was
flooded to an average depth of
about fifteen feet, four bridges
were swept away and many persons
were trapped as houses crumbled
over their heads in the rush of
Hundreds of persons crowded
onto the roofs of houses while the
waters swirled beneath them, and
many of these were eventually engulfed.
A large cotton factory and
various other factories were destroyed.
The dam's collapse is attributed
to a violent storm that caused the
waters of the Orba and Sturia Rivers
to flood Lake Orticella, which
was twenty-five square miles in
Besides Ovada, the villages affected
were Rimalda, Rocca Cassalto
and Cermelli. The basin of the
lake was five miles square.

By The Associated Press.
TURIN, Italy, Aug. 13 — Rescue
workers, troops and policemen who
were rushed with supplies today to
the flooded Piedmont area from the
city of Alessandria said they could
compute no definite toll of t h e dead
until daylight. Scores of injured
received emergency treatment at
hospitals and first-aid stations and
others, made homeless by the flood,
spent the night in makeshift shelters.
The destruction of the hydroelectric
power station at the dam also
threw the area into darkness.

Aug. 14, 1935 edition of The New York Times