Vajont, 9th October 1963. Time 22:39.
An enormous landslide – 263 million cubic meters of earth and rock – falls off the slope of Mountain Toc and rushes down, at the speed of more than 90 kilometers per hour, in the artificial lake that covers the Vajont valley, between the regions of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, causing a wave of water of 50 million cubic meters, 250 meters high. The wave, measured with an energy equal to two times that of Hiroshima bomb, overwhelms the houses lying on the banks of the lake basin and all the Piave valley below, destroys completely five villages and kills nearly 2,000 people, including 487 children. Fifty years later, Daniele Lira’s photograhic work “Vajont” is a tribute to the victims, as well as an intimate reflection on that tragic event. President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano denounced: “The memory of the nearly two thousand victims and the devastation of a whole region, upset in its natural and social structure, forces us to confirm that this event was not a tragic, inevitable fatality, but a dramatic consequence of specific human faults, which we must denounce, along with identifying the responsibilities. “