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Mexico City Begins Demolishing Hundreds of Quake-Damaged Buildings

Mark Stevenson - The Associated Press
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October 10, 2017
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Mexican and international rescue teams remove a painting as they search for survivors in a collapsed building after an earthquake, at Roma neighborhood in Mexico City (Reuters/Carlos Jasso)

Update: How Extensive Damage in Mexico City's Earthquake Could Have Been Averted (Associated Press)

Mexico City has began demolishing the first of an estimated 150 to 200 buildings that were badly damaged by a Sept. 19 earthquake, the head of the city’s construction safety institute said.

The 7.1 magnitude quake killed 369 people and completely collapsed at least 38 structures, mostly apartment buildings. About a half-dozen others partly collapsed.

But Mexico City’s construction safety chief Renato Berron said hundreds of other buildings suffered serious structural damage. He said some will be repaired or reinforced, but the priority will be to demolish structures that are endangering neighboring buildings or passersby.

“We will give priority to those buildings that are creating a risk for inhabitants, neighbors, pedestrians, drivers, and those structures that endanger neighboring buildings ... Why? Because they are becoming a problem of public order. That’s the truth,” he said.

Berron said the city has begun demolishing the first three of 11 structures already approved for demolition, and that dozens more will follow in coming weeks.

He declined to say how much it would cost or how long it would take; many fear legal appeals by some residents. Berron said consensus had already been reached with the owners of the first 11 buildings to tear them down.

The tottering buildings, many of whose concrete columns shattered or were seriously cracked, have increased Mexico City’s already bad traffic problems and forced more people from their apartments because of fears that a neighboring building might collapse.

“These will be demolitions done with machinery, not explosives, of course,” Berron said.

Read the rest at ABC News

Related: Mexico Quake Leaves Thousands Stranded Without a Home (Reuters)

Related: Outdated Construction Caused Most Building Collapses in Mexico Quake (NBCnews)

Related: Engineers: Lives Lost in Mexico Quake Could Have Been Saved (Associated Press)


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