Parts of a highway bridge in Heilongjiang Province, northeast China, were swept away in a disastrous occurrence brought on by rain-induced flash floods. As a result, at least two automobiles fell into the river below.
According to the provincial traffic officials, the terrible incident happened on the Harbin-Mudanjiang Highway at 8:50 in the morning.
Rescue Operations Ongoing, Traffic Restricted
A rescue effort has been started by the state-owned organization that controls highway traffic in the province. For safety reasons, traffic limitations have been put in place on the impacted highway segment.
Heavy Rainstorm Alerts and Collapsing Bridges
The Heilongjiang meteorological agency had issued a red alert for rainstorms when the incident occurred. Several cities, including Mudanjiang and the province capital Harbin, were included in the notice.
Notably, Beijing also saw heavy rain, making it the wettest period in that city’s history dating back 140 years.
The Role of Flooding and Collapsed Bridge
The once in a century flooding, according to experts, caused a water flow that was greater than the bridge’s intended capacity.
As a result, the ancient Lugou Bridge in Beijing’s west, the Xiaoqinghe Bridge, was unable to bear the strain, leading to the catastrophic collapse.
Contributing Factors to the Collapse
According to the Fengtai district of Beijing’s flood control agency, the Yongding River’s waters swelled as a result of the heavy rains and got worse after upstream floodgates were opened.
Five automobiles fell into the river as a result of the Xiaoqinghe Bridge’s pier breaking as a result of this.
Residents’ Accounts of the Disaster
Residents who live close to the Xiaoqing River stated how the July 31 flood was fierce and unheard of, despite the river’s typically low water levels.
The bridge’s structural stability was put to the test by the surging floods, which caused it to collapse.
Bridge Overhaul and Revamp
The Beijing City Transport Commission has ordered reinforcing of the main beam with steel plate ribs, extra steel plates for further support, and pavement relay for the Xiaoqinghe Bridge.
The winning offer for this project was submitted by Beijing Xihai Municipal Construction Engineering.
No Direct Link Between Revamp and Collapse
According to specialists like Professor Luan Qinghua from Hohai University, the recent renovation of the bridge had no impact on its demise.
The regrettable occurrence was principally caused by the floods, which exceeded the bridge’s design capacity in both scope and severity.
Ongoing Flood Situation
According to the Beijing Water Authority’s WeChat post, the Yongding River’s water level has surged and reached a peak of 3,750 cubic meters per second as a consequence of the continuous, heavy rain that has been falling in Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei province since July 29.
The Latest on the Bridge Collapse
There has been no documented casualties associated with the bridge collapse as of Thursday afternoon.
In order to protect the people, a portion of the Harbin-Mudanjiang Highway is remained blocked while the rescue efforts are still ongoing.
Nationwide Floods in China
Widespread floods caused by prolonged rainfall in several places are now causing problems throughout China.
Notably, Typhoon Doksuri’s leftovers delivered heavy downpours throughout the region, causing Beijing to receive the most rain in more than a century.
The tragic collapse of the Xiaoqinghe Highway Bridge in northern China serves as a sobering reminder of the catastrophic effects of flash floods amid severe weather conditions.
In the midst of this natural calamity, the authorities are working nonstop to conduct rescue missions and control traffic. It is essential to stay watchful and take the required safeguards while the country deals with continuous flooding to reduce the likelihood of similar disasters in the future.