California Highway Collapses – level 3
A section of iconic Highway 1 in California, US, collapsed into the ocean on Friday. It was washed out by a winter storm that brought heavy rain and snow.
According to officials, a debris flow overwhelmed drainage infrastructure from the hillside above the highway. It then flowed across the highway and eroded the road, which resulted in a complete loss of a part of the highway. The accident happened about 24 kilometers south of Big Sur, a mountainous stretch of California’s Central Coast.
The California Department of Transportation declared a state of emergency in two counties in a response to winter storms that threatened to cause mud and debris flows, forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents. According to the department, the highway is prone to rock fall and slides, and it is the nature of a road that is built on the edge of a continent where forces of the hillside and the oceans are always at play.
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