Tragedy Strikes in Italy
My name is Carl Azuz. Thank you for logging on or tuning in for 10 minutes of news explained. We`re starting in the European nation of Italy where tragedy struck in the northwestern city of Genoa yesterday. It`s where a major section of a highway bridge collapsed at about noon time. And though Italian officials say it`s unlikely that anyone who is underneath the bridge when that happened, traffic was flowing across it. Italy`s Civil Protection Agency says around 30 vehicles and several heavy duty trucks were in the affected area. And as of last night, officials had confirmed that at least 26 people have been killed and 16 people were injured. The Morandi Bridge is made out of concrete. It opened in 1968. It`s part of a major highway for residents and tourists. The bridge helps link the Italian Coast with the French cities to the west. One eyewitness said he thought he saw lightening hit the bridge shortly before it collapsed. Police say violent storms were partly responsible but maintenance on the bridge was also taking place when it gave way. Authorities believe the collapse was due to a structural failure. Exactly what kind and what factors led to that will be investigated in the days ahead. Ten second trivia. The oldest continuously occupied city in the U.S. is located in what state, Virginia, Massachusetts, Florida or New York. Dating back to it`s Spanish settlement in 1565, St. Augustine, Florida holds this record. Today several counties in the state of Florida are under a state of emergency because of a red tide algae bloom. What the state of emergency does is speed up money to areas that are effected by the problem. What the problem is, a red tide brings danger to marine and human life. Fast growing colonies of a certain type of algae often turn the water red. Normally the blooms that occur off the coast of Florida start in October and end during the winter but not this one. It`s lasted for nine months. When the algae die they release toxins that have killed fish, sea turtles, manatees and other animals. And when the toxins have been carried inland by the wind, they`ve caused respiratory problems for people in several counties. They`re being told not to swim in the water, breathe the air or eat seafood from wherever red tides have been occurring. What`s to blame for the red tide? NASA says Hurricane Irma which struck last September might have moved inland nutrients to coastal waters helping the algae to grow. That also happened in 2006, the year after Hurricane Katrina struck in the Gulf of Mexico. Some scientists are also trying to find out if land development, farming and water use might have an impact on the algae. (BEGIN VIDEO/AUDIO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Normally, a voyage like this is filled with relaxed anticipation. But these days a trip off of Florida`s Gulf Coast brings only boat full`s of dread. Toxic algae is blooming like mad here and you can see and smell the result everywhere, on shore and off. A dolphin sighting that would normally inspire wonder, now only makes you worry. There he is, he`s right here. Look at this. Wow, you can really feel it in your - - in your nostrils, in your sinuses, and the back of your throat. It`s like a mild pepper spray when this algae gets up in the air. And so if we can feel that discomfort, you got to wonder what it`s like to be a dolphin in the red tide like this. Oh, there he is. Their blowhole is just inches beneath the surface. And a visit to the marine biologist at Florida Gulf Coast University is like a sad visit to the morgue. These are just two of the more than 400 sea turtles found in this area alone. This is the villain right here. This is the red tide. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And this one down here on the bottom. UNIDENTFIED MALE: Yes. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have a natural phenomena called red tide as Mike said, but you have the nitrogen then coming in and giving it a booster shot. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now these scientists from Florida Gulf Coast University are testing water up to 20 miles off shore. Looking for the infinitive proof that America`s sugar habit is also making red tides worse. You`re looking for the smoking gun. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m looking for a smoking gun. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back on the beach it should be full of tourists. I find only clean up crews. Many of them unpaid volunteers. You live in Tennessee? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. Sevierville. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you come out here just to do this?UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. I did. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re kidding. Really. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did. I did. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you seen red tides this bad before?UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have not.