The Vaiont Dam Overflow: A Case Study of Extra-Community Responses in Massive Disasters

Quarantelli, E. L.
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Disaster Research Center
How do organized elements of social systems respond when component sub-units such as communities are devastated? This is, on what do extra-community agencies and organizations focus, to what do they give priority, where do problems arise, and how are they solved when a particular geographic area undergoes massive destruction of live and property as a result of a sudden catastrophe? If it is true that the structure and functioning of social systems, as well as of individuals, can be more clearly discerned in extreme situations, knowledge of actual group responses in such situations should contribute to an understanding of the fundamentals of social life. What is ignored and what is singled out when groups from non-impacted areas converge on a destroyed community? Where are the sources of the problems encountered by converging organizations; how do they handle their difficulties?
Vaiont Dam , Piave River Valley , massive disasters , responses