Video of a Russian truck driving over a failing wooden suspension bridge made for a tense moment last week.
In the video, a mid-size Russian pickup truck starts its run across a temporary Volga River bridge. Residents watch in horror as the truck nears the middle. The wheels begin to submerge and kick up water. At the middle point, the truck stops, and seconds later, rope from one side snaps. The motor vehicle flips and falls into the river.
The Siberian Times reported that the driver survived the accident, but his precious cargo did not. As the only bridge in town, many local Uryum Villiage residents cannot use the bridge until repaired or replaced.
More Bridges A Major Rainfall Impact
Extreme rainfall in the region has crippled many bridges in addition to the Uryum Villiage one.
Yahoo! News reported this accident happened more than 3,700 miles from Moscow.
Flooding reportedly also destroyed a Trans-Siberian railway bridge. Reportedly, the bridge was a temporary fix after previous floods in the area. The bridge failure stopped travel for three days, and President Vladamir Putin told Reuters that authorities would fix the rail line in five days. The rail corridor is a lifeline for the Russian economy, delivering passengers, oil, timber, and coal between Europe and Asia.
Another bridge in the Zabaikalsk region near the China-Mongolia bridge also failed. The TASS news agency reported that rain flooded 650 homes in that region.
The Volga River is known as Europe’s longest river, stretching over 2,000 miles. Comparably, the river is around the same length as America’s Mississippi River. The Volga River starts in central Russia before draining into the Caspian Sea.
Many parts of the Russian history-rich river were manmade, with churches, cemeteries, and towns submerged under the water over the years. Natural flooding has come from snow and ice melts in northern Russia during the winter months.
This summer, the unpredictability of rains has added to increased flooding in the region.
Added human growth and construction have also cut into forests, increasing more runoff of soil and pesticides. Smaller rivers flowing into the major river are drying up, and reservoirs are also suffering.
According to NPR, Putin’s regime has limited foreign help and research of the river during his power.
Europe, Russia Dealing With Record Rain
According to CNN, with the massive rain, parts of western Europe and Germany have seen over 120 dead. Two weeks ago, a dam along the river Rur in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia broke. Officials are watching more dams closely as rains continue.
Hannah Cloke, a professor of hydrology at the UK’s University of Reading, told CNN that “these kind of high-energy, sudden summer torrents of rain (throughout Europe) are exactly what we expect in our rapidly heating climate.”