Miami/Dade County Condo Collapse
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
At around 1:30 AM on June 24 in Miami/Dade County’s Surfside community, Champlain Towers South — a 12-story beachfront condo — partially collapsed.
At least five residents died, many others injured, 156 others unaccounted for.
So far, the only rescued survivor from beneath rubble was an unidentified boy.
While rescue operations continue, Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said chances of finding residents trapped under rubble is highly unlikely.
On Saturday, the Miami Herald said a 2018 structural assessment of the building discovered a “major error.”
It dates from “the building’s origin where lack of proper drainage on the pool deck had caused ‘major structural damage,’ according to records released late Friday night by town officials.”
An October Structural Field Survey Report prepared by Morabito Consultants said construction of the building’s pool deck and outdoor planters “laid on a flat structure” that prevented water from draining.
At this time, it’s unclear if what Morabito called “a systemic issue” was repaired, likely not.
Nor is it known for certain if this issue caused the building’s partial collapse, most likely the case.
According to Morabito’s report, years of undrained water “on the pool deck severely damaged the concrete structural slabs below,” the Miami Herald reported, adding:
“The problem needed to be addressed quickly, Morabito wrote.”
“Failure to replace waterproofing in the near future (would) cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially.”
“(P)roper repair (will be) “ ‘extremely expensive,’ ” the report explained.
(R)emoval of the concrete topping slab to gain access to the waterproofing membrane will take time, be disruptive and create a major disturbance to the occupants of this condominium structure.”
The parking garage beneath the pool deck also showed “signs of distress/fatigue,” according to the report, adding:
“Several sizable (concrete cracks) were noted in both the topside of the entrance drive ramp and underside of the pool/entrance drive/planter slabs, which included instances with exposed, deteriorating rebar.”
The Morabito report explained that previous repair on the building’s garage cracks “were ineffective.”
Nothing in condo association records indicates whether structural issues were addressed.
In April 2020, a report by Earth and Environment Professor Shimon Wdowinski with Simone Fiaschi found that Champlain Towers South “had some kind of unusual movement,” adding:
It was sinking at the rate of 2 mm annually based on satellite data from 1993 to 1999.
Wdownski said he doesn’t believe that state or city officials were aware of his study’s findings.
His report explained that in some areas around Miami Beach, “the detected subsidence (gradual sinking of landforms) is of a 12-story high condominium building.”
“The detected subsidence rate is in the 1–3 mm/yr range, with uncertainty level of 0.6–0.8 mm/yr.”
“Although higher subsidence velocities up to 3.8 mm/yr are registered in the artificial islands located west of the city, phase unwrapping errors leading to higher uncertainties cannot be excluded in such areas.”
Unanswered by his report is what greater erosion may have occurred over 22 years since his study’s analysis of 1990s satellite images of the area.
Unanswered as well as is how many other US buildings have unaddressed structural and other issues that endanger occupants.
According to a February FEMA report:
“As many as 34,000 homes constructed in northeastern Connecticut between 1983 and 2000 may have concrete foundations containing pyrrhotite and are at risk of cracking or crumbling…”
“Reports of crumbling foundations first began in 2015.”
“By May 2017, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (CDCP) had received reports of more than 550 homes with faulty foundations, and in December 2017 began processing 522 verified reports to determine compensation eligibility.”
“(T)he potential economic impact to the Connecticut’s housing market could approach up to $1 billion.”
It’s “devastating to individual homeowners, whose home values decrease significantly if pyrrhotite is present.”
“Potentially, tens of thousands of Connecticut residents may be affected as the quarry believed to be the source of the contaminated material was widely used throughout the state.”
Will other similar preventable catastrophes occur ahead if serious state and community issues continue to go unaddressed?
US infrastructure is in dismal condition from longstanding neglect of roads, bridges, energy grids, building codes in need of updating and enforcing, along with other forms of neglect.
Instead of addressing vital domestic issues affecting all Americans, US ruling regimes and Congress prioritize pouring countless trillions of dollars down a black hole of waste, fraud and abuse to benefit the nation’s military, industrial, security complex’s war on humanity at home and abroad.
At the same time, the Wall Street owned and controlled Federal Reserve — that’s private, not federal — operates in similar fashion by money printing madness to benefit rich and super-rich interests exclusively over policies benefitting all Americans equitably.
Separately after the south Florida Champlain Towers South collapse — not before what’s needed nationwide by using funds for destructive purposes spent for constructive ones — the Biden regime declared an emergency in Florida alone for political reasons, not the right ones.
Dominant hardliners in Washington don’t give a hoot about alleviating human misery endured by millions of exploited Americans and others worldwide.
It’s evident from their destructive agenda, serving domestic privileged interests exclusively at the expense of all others.
A Final Comment
On Sunday, the Miami Herald reported that “(c)rews brought in heavy machinery Saturday to remove rubble from above,” adding:
“(R)escuers boring through the concrete from the garage under the building are only entering the passageways after structural engineers determine what is safe and where pylons should be placed to bolster support.”
VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at email@example.com.
My two Wall Street books are timely reading:
“How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War”
“Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity”