An independent panel of dam experts says the dam had inherent design and construction weaknesses.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — National dam safety experts say long-term and systemic failures by officials in California and elsewhere caused last year’s near-disaster at the nation’s tallest dam.

The report released Friday comes from experts appointed to investigate the causes of spillway collapses at California’s Oroville Dam.

Both spillways at the half-century old dam gave way in February 2017, forcing evacuation orders for nearly 200,000 people downstream.

The independent panel of dam experts says the dam had inherent design and construction weaknesses.

The report faults California’s Department of Water Resources and other regulators for allegedly failing to recognize and address those problems.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast rewritten or redistributed.)

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