40 years past from Macchu II Dam failure that took the lives of 25000 souls

Updated: Jul 28, 2020


The Macchu II dam failure or Morbi disaster was a dam-related flood disaster which occurred on 11 August 1979, Forty years ago in India.

The Macchu II dam, situated on the Machhu river, burst, sending a wall of water through the town of Morbi. Estimates of the number of people killed range from 1800 to 25000 people.

Macchu II Dam
Macchu II Dam

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Construction of the Dam

  • Construction of the dam began in November 1967 by Manibhai & Brothers Construction.

  • 800 feet (240 m) of tightly packed walls were placed on the western flank while 4600 feet ( 1400 m) were placed on the eastern flank.

  • The spillway contained 18 cavernous floodgates and controlled the reservoir's water.

chaos in Morbi after the disaster


Social Impact

  • The damage costs were estimated to be around £10 million.

  • 8 days after the disaster 1137 human bodies had been disposed and 2919 animal corpses had been burnt.

Satellite picture of the dam

Environmental Impact

  • Local raw materials were used for the construction of the dam which was an earthen dam design.

  • The construction of the dam has a negative effect on the aquatic ecosystem in the existing river.


Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1979_Machchhu_dam_failure