I’m sure most of you have read about the collapse of a 12 story condominium tower in Surfside, Florida which is right next door to Miami Beach. The building, which is 40 years old collapsed without warning at 2 a.m. or so. Undoubtedly most of those in the building were sleeping.
Thus far 4 bodies have been recovered with 159 still missing. Only one ten year old boy has been pulled alive from the rubrble.
This is not the sort of thing that happens in America. Buildings do not just fall down here. Regulation requires that the building receive a complete inspection at the 40 year mark; a more intensive inspection than the annual building inspection. Forty is not old for a building; there are apartment buildings in New York and many other cities well over 100 years old.
So why did this building just collapse.
The building is beach front, populated by the well off and international residents.
Half of the building collapsed; the half CLOSEST TO THE OCEAN. Previous inspections indicated that the building was sinking at a rate of a couple of millimeters per year. Over 40 years that sinking would add up to several inches.
Additionally, considering the portion facing the ocean collapsed, the issue of salt water penetration of the pilings will be examined. Surfside as well as Miami Beach is built on a sand bar where tall buildings probably never should have been built. But developers saw the possibility of profits from those well off enough to live on the ocean.
Rising ocean levels due to climate change? Half of Miami is projected to be under water in fifty years.
It has been reported that an elderly woman called her son the night before claiming the building was making strange and funny noses. She is among the missing.
The collapsed building is right next door to a much taller one. I think would sleep in a cheap hotel inland for a few nights..