2 On 21 October 1966, a landslide involving a coal tip slag heap (or spoil tip) at Aberfan in South Wales killed 147 people of these were children at the Pantglas Junior School.Aberfan lies on the banks of the River Taff and was overlooked by the tips of the Merthyr Vale Colliery.The landslide involved over 100,000m³ of colliery waste travelling at speeds of up to 30km/hr. Earlier landslides had occurred in the vicinity but the National Coal Board believed that the speed of movement was slow enough to allow a warning to be given
3 However, spoil tip number 7 was located above a spring However, spoil tip number 7 was located above a spring. Water seeping through the sandstone emerged as a spring in the lower part of the tip. As the water passed through, it removed fine clay from the ‘toe’ of the tip thereby increasing its gradient.Tip 5Tip 4Tip 7SpringBrithdir sandstoneBrithdir CoalBoulder clay and AlluviumPantglas Junior SchoolAberfan
4 It was 9.15am and the school had just finished morning prayers when millions of tonnes of coal waste, rock and water crumpled 245 m down the Aberfan mountain. The children were due to start their week’s half-term holiday at noon. But many children never reached the school at all. Fog delayed a busload of 50 seniors and juniors from the village of Mount Pleasant nearby. Some decided to walk and arrived late enough to miss the the landfall22 October 1966
5 The National Coal Board (NCB) said last night that a build up of rain water inside the tip at Aberfan had probably burst the base of the tip and caused 2 million tonnes of waste to slide down the valley.22 October 1966
6 Already by Friday morning there had been much more rain during October in the area of South Wales, which includes Aberfan, than it gets on average during the whole month. More than half of this had fallen in one torrential downpour teo days before.24th October 1966
12 ActivityUsing the information from the book and from this presentation. Write a newspaper report about the Aberfan disaster in your notebooks. Include information about 3 things1. What happened?2. How and why was it such a disaster?3. What can be done to spoil tips to make sure that disasters like this do not happen again?