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Close Call over Rushing Waters

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

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The country of Colombia conjures images of lush coffee farms, the heights of the Andes mountains, and crystal clear beaches, but severe weather can be a constant threat, too.

It’s not uncommon for the rainy season to bring landslides and heavy flooding along Colombia’s waterways. Eventually, the rushing waters are going to take their toll on the structures and land around them.

That’s just what happened to one bridge carrying a roadway over a creek in Colombia.

A handful of pedestrians took their lives in their hands crossing a water-damaged bridge in Colombia.

In the footage, a large crevasse is visible on the far side of the bridge, where the surface has already begun to break away. Despite road barriers and safety officials, a few daring pedestrians choose to make their way from one side to the other—and they should be counting their blessings.

Just moments after they reach the near side of the bridge, the entire structure twists and collapses into the waters below.

Dangerous Weather

According to ReliefWeb, heavy rains, flooding, windstorms, hail and landslides have had a massive impact on the Colombian population this year. More than 20,000 people were affected by severe weather in Colombia in April, and more than 40,000 were affected in May.

The Colombian Infrastructure

In December 2014, BloombergBusiness reported that, on the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness index, Colombia ranks 130 out of 148 economies based on quality of roads.

At that time, the country had just begun to raise the $50 billion needed to fund road and infrastructure projects.

Editor's Note: This article was edited to remove reference to a storm in Southern California that washed out an I-10 highway bridge.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Health & Safety; Infrastructure; Latin America; North America; Roads/Highways; South America

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (8/4/2015, 8:22 AM)

No, The Independent says the two bridge collapses were unrelated, not the same storm. Follow your own link, which also mentions two additional unrelated bridge collapses. Even of The Independent said it was the same storm - some fact checking would be in order since the locations are about 3,500 miles apart.

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