Heavy rains and powerful gusts of wind battered parts of the southwestern Chinese province of Guizhou earlier this week and nearly destroyed a bridge.
Dramatic videos captured the bridge teetering on the edge of collapse in the winds on May 3, according to Chinese news outlets. The suspension bridge in Tongren city is seen swaying violently in the rain, with the entire deck wobbling like jelly.
Parts of the fences fell into the river during the rainstorm, according to a report by Beijing News. The damaged bridge, mainly made of steel chains, was later closed to traffic, awaiting repair work.
The mountainous Guizhou province has many suspension bridges like this one. The world’s highest bridge, Beipanjiang Bridge, which has a deck 1,850 ft above the river below, is also located in the province, about 400 miles away from Tongren.
Middle-sized trucks were able to go through the bridge in Tongren before it was damaged last week, according to online videos posted by tourists.
Baidu Maps suggests the bridge has about 492 ft of its deck above the Wu River.
Strong winds have caused spectacular and catastrophic bridge failures worldwide, such as the famous collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington in 1940. Three cars were lost and a dog was killed in the disaster.
Between 2000 and 2012, 157 bridges in China collapsed, according to a 2012 study by researchers at Hohai University in Nanjing. Half of the failures were attributed to floods.
A 2015 study by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and Utah State University estimates that about 128 bridges in the U.S. partially or totally collapse every year.
In 2018, a collapse in Genoa, Italy, during a rainstorm killed 43 people, making it one of the deadliest bridge failures in recent history.