I'll give the New York Times credit for a good story on what the Siberian dam and hydro station disaster says about the state of the Russian built environment. Also, the Times has a good photo from Reuters that is better than one from the Associated Press that appeared on ENR.com. Some more photos are in this blog post.

But I'll take issue with the Times' use of the word breach to describe what happened at the disaster. My understanding of dams and hydraulics is limited, but there's no dam breach here that I can see. See below. Using the word enlarges the scary side of what happened, and it's scary enough. This was a power station accident, not a dam breach, unless you consider flooding that I think may have had to do with damaged intakes a kind of breach. I don't think so.

From freedictionary.com


breach (brē ch)

a. An opening, a tear, or a rupture.
b. A gap or rift, especially in or as if in a solid structure such as a dike or fortification.
2. A violation or infraction, as of a law, a legal obligation, or a promise.
3. A breaking up or disruption of friendly relations; an estrangement.
4. A leap of a whale from the water.
5. The breaking of waves or surf.
v. breached, breach·ing, breach·es
1. To make a hole or gap in; break through.
2. To break or violate (an agreement, for example).
To leap from the water: waiting for the whale to breach.