California, February 13: One of the tallest dams in the United States, Oroville Dam triggered a spillway after heavy rainfall which posed a threat of imminent collapse. Residents living below and near the dam were urgently ordered to evacuate on Sunday.Officials have ordered thousands of residents near the Oroville Dam to evacuate the area, saying a "hazardous situation is developing" after an emergency spillway severely eroded. The Butte County Sheriff's Office said that the emergency spillway could fail within an hour unleashing uncontrolled flood waters from Lake Oroville.
Almost 2,00000 people who live below the dams were evacuated and still the evacuation process is on to take a control over the uninvited threat. "Operation of the auxiliary spillway has lead to severe erosion that could lead to a failure of the structure. Failure of the auxiliary spillway structure will result in an uncontrolled release of flood waters from Lake Oroville." Anticipating the auxiliary spillway's failure, officials in the northern California town are frantically attempting to drain water from the dam's main spillway, at a clip of 100,000 cubic feet per second.
"It's uncontrolled. It's uncontrolled," Department of Water Resources spokesman Chris Orrock said, when asked how much water could be released should the spillway break. An evacuation center has been set up in nearby Chico, the sheriff's office said on Twitter. It could take up to $200 million to repair the dam, he added.
“Do not travel north toward Oroville,” the department said on Twitter. Evacuation centres were set up at a fairgrounds in Chico, California, about 20 miles northwest of Oroville, but major highways leading south out of the area were jammed as residents fled the flood zone.