Buildings which weren’t quite wind-resistant enough
Wind resistance is a vital trait for buildings, particularly tall ones like skyscrapers. Everyone in construction knows that wind-resistant demarcation is necessary for rooftop projects as it protects builders in stormy conditions just as well as regular flat roof demarcation protects builders in open skies. Unfortunately, not every architect has been successful in creating buildings which can withstand heavy wind or storms. Today’s article is a list of buildings which were destroyed in storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, or other such disasters.
Morandi Bridge, Genoa
Morandi bridge (named for its architect, Riccardo Morandi) was a part of the A10 motorway in northern Italy and also an artery of European route E80, a route stretching from Portugal to Turkey bridging the borders between France and Italy. It was built between 1963 and 1967, costing 3.8bn lire, and stood until 14 August 2018. On that day, a torrential rainstorm brought down 80 metres of the bridge in a crash described as “apocalyptic, like a bomb had hit the bridge”, taking 30 vehicles with it. Sadly, the Morandi Bridge crash claimed the lives of 43 people and injured 16 more. Local authorities decided not to rebuild, and instead demolish the bridge and construct a replacement.
London Bridge, England
How many London bridges can you name? The one that stands today isn’t the first. The first London bridge ever mentioned in historical records was destroyed in 1014 by the King of Norway (ironically fighting to protect London from invading Danes). It was later rebuilt by William the Conqueror in 1066, however it didn’t last long – the London Tornado of 1091 swept through the city, bringing the bridge down and damaging St Mary-le-Bow Church (famous for its bells – being born within earshot was once a requirement for being a true Cockney). It was then rebuilt once again by King William II, lasting until 1136 when it was destroyed yet again by fire. The builders of London bridge did not learn their lesson about building in timber until 1209, when it was finally rebuilt in stone.
Balsam Ghut Prison, British Virgin Islands
Balsam Ghut is one of HM’s Prisons located in the Virgin Islands. In 2017, the tropical storm known as Hurricane Irma devastated the Caribbean, doing $3.6bn worth of damage. Experts expected the storm to pass over the islands, however its intensity was totally unexpected – the hurricane rapidly increased in size and force on the 5th September and swept over the Virgin Islands causing massive damage to the local population and infrastructure. One of the worst effects was the destruction of Balsam Ghut, where 90% of the prison’s buildings were damaged, allowing prisoners to escape into the island. However, this was nowhere near as bad as it sounds. Plenty of prisoners returned to the jail of their own accord after visiting family members. Others voluntarily surrendered. Those who remained were captured by the police, backed up by the Royal Marines who were visiting the island to offer assistance. Only two prisoners went uncaptured.
Hurricane Irma caused massive devastation in the British Virgin Islands and the Caribbean. It is expected to take many years for the surviving population to recover from the damage which was done.