The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Thursday, 31 May 2018 01:00

Bridge collapse due to heavy rain in Cuba

Written by  TheStructuralEngineer.info

Two people standing just next to the spot of collapse almost fell into the water

As a result of the intense rainfalls caused by the subtropical storm Alberto, the bridge that connects the town of Zaza del Medio with the city of Santi Spiritus in Cuba collapsed on Monday afternoon. Built in 1984, the bridge did not resist the strength of the water from the Zaza River, which registered one of the highest floods of recent times. Seconds before the failure, there were a few people standing on the bridge watching the rushing waters underneath, two of which were attempting to walk across it when it collapsed right in front of them.

According to eyewitnesses and the recorded videos, it seems that the collapse was caused by a tree trunk dragged by the stream that hit one of the bridge’s support columns, splitting it right in the middle. The locals even said that the rumbling was felt throughout the community and many came to see what had happened. 

Claudia Echemendía, one of the people standing at the time on top of the viaduct with two other friends, told ACN that she felt how the road cracked and then began to run at full speed. ‘We looked out to see the flooding of the river; from there we saw and felt how the trunk of a huge tree collided with the bridge’, she said, acknowledging that it was a clear mistake to go to the site with the river swollen, despite the continuous safety warnings that were constantly playing on the media.

The bridge, which was more than 100 meters long, was vital for land communication between Zaza del Medio (which is isolated from other access roads) and the provincial capital, located a little over 10 kilometers away. It was designed by Alfredo Moreno Mendoza, and the work was carried out by the Brigade of Bridges, the Ministry of Construction, and with the collaboration of the municipality of Taguas, led by Manuel Pérez González, the renowned Puentero Higher.

Source: Radio Rebelde, Radio Angulo

 

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