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The Tapovan Vishnugad plant following a deadly landslide in 2021.

The Tapovan Vishnugad plant following a deadly landslide in 2021.

Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan for Bloomberg Green
Green
Climate Adaptation

Dams Are Becoming More Dangerous to Build as Good Sites Run Out

With viable hydro sites scarce, dam builders around the world are pushing into high-risk areas, often based on outdated climate data. 

It had been snowing hard for days in the Indian Himalayas before a thaw set in. Then, at 10:21 a.m. on Feb. 7, 2021, part of Ronti peak cracked and fell off the mountain.

The resulting landslide had enough rock and ice to fill 12,000 Olympic swimming pools and was moving at 120 miles an hour when it reached the base of the Ronti Gad river valley. Friction melted the ice and created a deluge that raged downriver and devastated two hydropower plants, killing more than 200 workers and residents.