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Counting the death toll

The 125-year-old dam near Katangi, in the Balaghat district of the Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, breached on 21 August 2002 after it developed cracks following several days of heavy rains. One hundred people are feared dead. Authorities have evacuated around 12,000 people after the 80-year-old Ahmadpur irrigation dam in the same state started leaking, also due to heavy monsoon rains.

Meanwhile in Saxony, Germany, authorities said a 71-year-old man drowned downstream from a breached dam in the village of Schlottwitz, 20km south of Dresden. The dam breach occurred after heavy rains in August.

Failure of the 162-year-old La Ventilla dam due to heavy rains in Mexico flooded several villages in the central San Luis Potosi state, leaving nine people dead. In all, 11 people were killed in dam collapses. Just as the dam came down in La Ventilla, another in neighbouring Zacatecas state also broke, killing a 73-year-old woman and a 3-year-old girl.

A dam impounding water in a reservoir in the Pamir Mountains of eastern Tajikistan breached in early August, flooding a village and killing 20 people.

The dam broke as a result of a mudslide near the village of Dasht in the Roshkalinsky region about 300km east of the Tajik capital Dushanbe, the Ministry of Emergency Situations said. Water and mud engulfed the village after the dam broke, carrying away houses and their inhabitants.

Saudi billionaire, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, has pledged to rebuild a village in northern Syria which was inundated when the Zeyzoun dam burst in July 2002. At least 20 people were killed when the Zeyzoun collapsed, burying about 60km2 of farmland in mud and silt.

The Syrian government has decided to rename Zeyzoun, which lies north of the city of Hama, calling it Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal Village in honour of the Saudi tycoon.