Now, I do not condone people pulling up their smartphones and filming the scene of an accident rather than helping the victim (this is a real problem, look it up). However, I do understand people engaging in disaster tourism, such as the people going to see the wreck of the Costa Concordia; destruction is exciting, like an action movie, the problem is that real disasters often entail real loss of life. When there are no people involved however (Mythbusters blowing something up, an abandoned house deteriorating and so on), I enjoy a bit of destruction as much as the net guy, which is why I was out exploring today.
Yesterday, while checking the news about ongoing typhoon Soulik, Yini got indications that a bridge on the outskirts of Hsinchu had been destroyed, and we thought we knew which one it was. Now, the bridge in question has been closed for traffic (blocked off by concrete blocks) for several months due to damage sustained in an earlier typhoon, so I think we can safely assume no one was hurt. So today, when the typhoon had subsided, we did just like the Costa Concordia tourists, and went to check it out.
Turns out that the destroyed bridge was indeed then one we thought. The whole central span, the part over the river itself is completely gone, broken off at the pillars. The river that usually flows by slowly, with a small waterfall right under the bridge, had turned into a raging torrent of muddy water. Since the river bed closest to the bank was dry, we ventured out to get a closer look, keeping a watchful eye on the river for any sign of rising water.
It is both amazing and terrifying to see what nature is capable of, especially when you can compare the aftermath of a disaster to the normal state. As it happens, this particular area has been a sort of wilderness inside the city. Me and Yini have been here before, while exploring the city on motorcycle, for example here. We also passed by last weekend, so we had some very fresh pictures to compare with, so here is the before and after:
On our way back home, I opted for the small bike path close to the river. It turned out the path was covered in mud in several places and not so easy to ride on. It did however offer some more examples of the typhoon’s power.