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Twenty dead as Syrian dam collapses

At least twenty people ARE reported to have been killed and three villages destroyed when a dam collapsed in Syria on 4 June 2002.

According to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), hundreds of homes were destroyed when the Zeyzoun dam, north of Hama, developed cracks and ruptured, releasing 67M m3 of water on the farming region of Zeyzoun. The Syrian government has ordered makeshift shelters to be erected to house the families displaced by the flood. President Basha Al-Assad has also given an emergency assistance grant of US$1000 for each family that lost a relative.

Authorities have now launched an investigation into the collapse of the dam, which was built in 1996.