The 27 February 2010 Maule, Chile, earthquake occurred during the driest time of the year, which implied that most of the soils in the slopes were not saturated and that the dams had extra freeboard. This may explain the small number of slope failures caused by the earthquake. However, two important earth dams suffered seismically induced permanent ground movements, but no catastrophic damage was reported because the reservoirs levels were low. Five medium-sized mine tailings dams failed due to liquefaction; one of them tragically caused four casualties. Retaining structures of all types performed well and no failures were observed.

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