Kantale Dam

Last updated
Kantale Dam
Kantalai Tank, Sri Lanka.jpg
Kantale Tank in May 2015
Sri Lanka rel-2 location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location of Kantale Dam in Sri Lanka
Country Sri Lanka
Location Kantale
Coordinates 08°21′40″N80°59′29″E / 8.36111°N 80.99139°E / 8.36111; 80.99139 Coordinates: 08°21′40″N80°59′29″E / 8.36111°N 80.99139°E / 8.36111; 80.99139
Purpose Irrigation
Owner(s)Mahaweli Authority
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Embankment dam
Impounds Per Aru
Height (foundation)50 ft (15 m)
Length14,000 ft (4,267 m)
CreatesKantale Reservoir

The Kantale Dam Tamil : கந்தளாய் அணை, romanized: Kantaḷāy Aṇai) is a large embankment dam built in Kantale, Trincomalee District, Sri Lanka, used for irrigation. It is 14,000 ft (4,267 m) long, and over 50 ft (15 m) high. The dam breached on 20 April 1986, killing more than 120 people. [1] It has since been reconstructed. The dam impounds the Per Aru, a small river discharging into the Koddiyar Bay, at Trincomalee Harbour.


Reservoir history

The tank was built by King Aggabodhi II (604-614 AD) and further developed by King Parakramabahu the Great.[ citation needed ] It was also known as Gangathala Vapi at the time. The reservoir has a catchment area of 216 km2 (83 sq mi) and a capacity of 135 million cubic metres (4.8×109 cu ft). [2]

1986 Dam failure

On 20 April 1986 at 03:00 AM, the dam breached, sending a wall of water over the villages downstream. The floods killed approximately 120–180 people, destroyed over 1,600 houses and 2,000 acres (810 ha) of paddy, affecting over 8,000 families. [1] One of the main causes of the breach was said to be due to extra-heavy vehicles being driven over the dam. [3] [4]

Related Research Articles

Dam Barrier that stops or restricts the flow of surface or underground streams

A dam is a barrier that stops or restricts the flow of surface water or underground streams. Reservoirs created by dams not only suppress floods but also provide water for activities such as irrigation, human consumption, industrial use, aquaculture, and navigability. Hydropower is often used in conjunction with dams to generate electricity. A dam can also be used to collect or store water which can be evenly distributed between locations. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water, while other structures such as floodgates or levees are used to manage or prevent water flow into specific land regions. The earliest known dam is the Jawa Dam in Jordan, dating to 3,000 BC.

Khadakwasla Dam Dam in Khadakwasla Village, Pune, MaharashtraIndia

Khadakwasla Dam is a dam on the Mutha River 21 km (13 mi) from the centre of the city of Pune in Maharashtra, India. The dam created a reservoir known as Khadakwasla Lake which is the main source of water for Pune and its suburbs.

Marib Dam Dam and archaeological site in Yemen

The Marib Dam is a modern dam blocking the Wadi Adhanah in the valley of Dhana in the Balaq Hills, located in the Ma'rib Governorate in Yemen. The current dam was built in the 1980s and is close to the ruins of the ancient Great Dam of Marib, first built in the 8th century BC. It was one of the engineering wonders of the ancient world and a central part of the Sabaean and Himyarite kingdoms around Marib.

New Melones Dam Dam in Near Jamestown, California

New Melones Dam is an earth and rock filled embankment dam on the Stanislaus River, about 5 miles (8.0 km) west of Jamestown, California, United States, on the border of Calaveras County and Tuolumne County. The water impounded by the 625-foot (191 m)-tall dam forms New Melones Lake, California's fourth largest reservoir, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada east of the San Joaquin Valley. The dam serves mainly for irrigation water supply, and also provides hydropower generation, flood control, and recreation benefits.

Pine Flat Dam Dam in Fresno County, California

Pine Flat Dam is a concrete gravity dam on the Kings River in the Central Valley of Fresno County, California United States. Situated about 28 miles (45 km) east of Fresno, the dam is 440 feet (130 m) high and impounds Pine Flat Lake, one of the largest reservoirs in California, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada just outside the boundary of Kings Canyon National Park. The dam's primary purpose is flood control, with irrigation, hydroelectric power generation and recreation secondary in importance.

Reservoir Storage space for water

A reservoir is most commonly an enlarged natural or artificial lake created using a dam to store fresh water.

California State Water Project Flood control, energy production, and water conveyance infrastructure in California

The California State Water Project, commonly known as the SWP, is a state water management project in the U.S. state of California under the supervision of the California Department of Water Resources. The SWP is one of the largest public water and power utilities in the world, providing drinking water for more than 23 million people and generating an average of 6,500 GWh of hydroelectricity annually. However, as it is the largest single consumer of power in the state itself, it has a net usage of 5,100 GWh.

Hirakud Dam dam in Odisha, India

Hirakud Dam is built across the Mahanadi River, about 15 kilometres (9 mi) from Sambalpur in the state of Odisha in India. It is the longest dam in the world. Behind the dam extends a lake, Hirakud Reservoir, 55 km (34 mi) long. It is one of the first major multipurpose river valley projects started after India's independence.

Salal Dam Dam in Jammu and Kashmir

Salal Dam, also known as Salal Hydroelectric Power Station, is a run-of-the-river hydropower project on the Chenab River in the Reasi district of the Jammu and Kashmir. It was the first hydropower project built by India in Jammu and Kashmir under the Indus Water Treaty regime. After having reached a bilateral agreement with Pakistan in 1978, with significant concessions made to Pakistan in the design of the dam, reducing its height, eliminating operating pool, and plugging the under-sluices meant for sediment management, India completed the project in 1987. The concessions made in the interest of bilateralism damaged the long-term sustainability of the dam, which silted up in five years. It currently runs at 57% capacity factor. Its long-term future is uncertain.

Folsom Dam Dam in Folsom, California

Folsom Dam is a concrete gravity dam on the American River of Northern California in the United States, about 25 mi (40 km) northeast of Sacramento. The dam is 340 ft (100 m) high and 1,400 ft (430 m) long, flanked by earthen wing dams. It was completed in 1955, and officially opened the following year.

Dam failure Catastrophic failure of dam barrier by uncontrolled release of water

A dam failure or dam burst is a catastrophic type of failure characterized by the sudden, rapid, and uncontrolled release of impounded water or the likelihood of such an uncontrolled release. Between the years 2000 and 2009 more than 200 notable dam failures happened worldwide.

Mosul Dam Dam in 45 mi north of Mosul, Nineveh Governorate, Iraq

Mosul Dam, formerly known as Saddam Dam, is the largest dam in Iraq. It is located on the Tigris river in the western governorate of Nineveh, upstream of the city of Mosul. The dam serves to generate hydroelectricity and provide water for downstream irrigation. At full capacity, the structure holds about 11.1 cubic kilometres (2.7 cu mi) of water and provides electricity to the 1.7 million residents of Mosul.

A landslide dam or barrier lake is a natural damming of a river by some kind of landslides, such as debris flows and rock avalanches, or by volcanic eruptions. If the damming landslides are caused by an earthquake, it may also be called a quake lake. Some landslide dams are as high as the largest existing artificial dam.

Shihmen Dam Dam in Fuxing, Taoyuan City, Taiwan

Shihmen Dam is a major rock fill dam across the Dahan River in northern Taoyuan City. It forms the Shihmen Reservoir (石門水庫), Taiwan's third largest reservoir or artificial lake. It provides irrigation in Taoyuan, flood control for the Taipei Basin, and hydroelectricity and domestic water supply for more than three million people in northern Taiwan.

Cotter Dam Dam in Australian Capital Territory, Australia

The Cotter Dam is a concrete gravity and rockfill embankment dam across the Cotter River, located in the Australian Capital Territory, Australia. The impounded Cotter Reservoir is a supply source of potable water for the city of Canberra and its environs.

Upper Wardha Dam Dam in Maharashtra, India

The Upper Wardha Dam is an earthfill straight gravity dam across the Wardha River, a tributary of the Godavari River, near Simbhora village in Morshi taluk in Amravati district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The dam provides multipurpose benefits of irrigation, drinking water supply, flood control and hydropower generation.

Fujinuma Dam Dam in Sukagawa City

The Fujinuma Dam, was an earth-fill embankment dam in Sukagawa City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. It was established on the Ebana River, a tributary of the Abukuma River, 16 km (10 mi) west of the city office of Sukagawa City. Construction on the dam commenced in 1937 and it was completed in 1949 after construction was halted due to World War II. The dam's primary purpose was irrigation. It failed on 11 March 2011 after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake.

Moragahakanda Dam Dam in Elahera, North Central Province

The Moragahakanda Dam, officially as Kulasinghe Reservoir, is a large gravity dam, and the main component of the larger and more complex Moragahakanda — Kalu Ganga Project, across the Amban River at Elahera, in the Matale District of Sri Lanka. Construction began on 25 January 2007 and was completed in 2018. The maiden waters of the dam was released in January 2017. Morgahakanda/Kaluganga project is the last of the Great Mahaveli project

Kukule Ganga Dam

The Kukule Ganga Dam is a 110 m (360 ft) gravity dam built across the Kukule River in Kalawana, Sri Lanka. The run-of-river-type dam feeds an underground hydroelectric power station located approximately 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) away, via tunnel.

Lake Cypress Springs Reservoir in northeast Texas

Lake Cypress Springs is a 3,461-acre (1,401 ha) reservoir in northeast Texas, approximately 90 miles (140 km) east of Dallas, Texas. The lake is used for recreational, municipal, and industrial purposes. The lake is regularly monitored by a lake patrol, which enforces wake zones, fishing licenses, boat dock rules, and boating. Lake Cypress Springs has 20 subdivisions and around 850 waterfront homes. In 2011, Lake Cypress Springs was rated one of "The 10 Best Lakes to Call Home" according to D Magazine.


  1. 1 2 "The leak that turned into a flood". Sunday Times . 1 May 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  2. "Great Engineering feats II: Vast reservoirs built by the Kings". Sunday Observer. 29 March 2011. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  3. Anura Maitipe (31 December 2003). "Kantale dam in danger". Daily News . Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  4. Namini Wijedasa (7 August 2005). "Urgent call for dam safety". Sunday Island . Retrieved 13 February 2014.