Paths for freedom and progress
SOCIETY AND POWER - 03/12/2022

BR 376, Paraná, Brasil, Monday 28th of November 15:30:Part of the lane is obstructed by masses from a landslide from the steep hill close to the side of the road.

Cars driving south has to move over to the other side of the road, all cars has to arrange themselves in two slow queues on the remaining lane, one to north, one to south. Some drivers are stressed over the time loss, others are patiently accepting the delay as normal for this road, punished by so many accidents and trouble over the years.

19:30. A huge mass of colúvio, a wet and dark mass of soil invades suddenly the lane. Most people in the queue, at the moment just staring at the back of the vehicle in their front lighted up by their own headlight, are not conscient of what is happening: Suddenly the sound of a roaring rumble and the car or truck is suddenly thrown, twisted and kneaded by the pressure of thousands of tons, and then – For some, everything is shut off, life is gone. Others, feel blood and pain from scratches and strokes, their body has turned, all is dark. They who manage to put on the light of the car or cellphone realize they have been buried under a dense wall of soil. What will they understand of this surrealistic situation when their thoughts, twisting around a mind in confusion, soon weakens as the oxygen is less and less? Until they asphyxiate into a permanent darkness.

Those who had the luck to still remain on the ground have finally understood that a landslide definitively stopped their journey forwards. They can be lucky they belong to them who still can feel the rain cooling down their mind and making them feel they still are alive. Some of them climbs around the dirty clay, to help more unfortunate victims. Hats off for them.

Why this? If there is a reaction, the reason will always be an action or the lack of an action. And this is always connected to some responsible. In processes where no humans are involved, we can easily put the reason on some natural mechanisms. However, in any case where humans are involved, humans are always responsible.

By that, we know the reason of the BR 376 landslide was not the rain. It’s a proof of ignorance to blame the rain, which has been some of the most studied phenomens, as it has been present here at least as long as it has been life on Earth.

The users of the toll road were also all innocents. They were stuck in queues, standing still or moving slowly, everybody on the one lane the traffic had been directed to. And as long as we know as far, no terrorist, no foreign army, no aircraft was launching an attack on this place.   

GUILTY: Then it remains only two possible parts, responsible for this tragedy: The Road agency DNIT of the Federal Government and the toll road company. It´s time they meet and resolve their business and immediately, reimburse and compensate the victims and their relatives as far as possible for the material loss. The loss of lives – only God knows…

Next the administrator and owner of this road has to trace the project for a new road, with tunnels and bridges as it shall be in such areas, like Rodovia dos Imigrantes and Regis Bittencourt. Because this lesson must be the last before to abandon this dangerous road.

Until interstate transit and the citizen in this region has a decent and safe infrastructure, as long as they still have to wait for that, they have the right to get a professional management from the tollroad company they must pay expensive for. Regarding slopes, those have to be checked up, everywhere along the highway to receive what is needed and urgent, all from maintenance to restauration. If any slopes are “impossible” to fix, even with soil nailing, retainment wall or other geotechnical engineering, such slopes must be monitored, by instrumentation like inclinometers and benchmarks. Then the road can be interdicted if necessary.

As many have understood now, slopes are not something separated from the road. As long as they can happen to occupy the road, slopes are an important responsibility for the road administration.

With or without rain.


Copyright 2018 - Thomas Nilsson - All rights reserved - [email protected]
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