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The cause of the apartment building collapse in Florida between climate change and human error

The collapse of the apartment building in Florida sparked widespread controversy among the competent circles, and while there were reports of previous warnings of cracks and serious damage, the minister suggested that climate change was behind it.

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The collapse of the apartment building has killed at least 12 people, while the search is still underway for 149 others who are missing.

And the US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, believed that climate change may be the reason behind the collapse of the apartment building in Florida, noting that the rising seas and their encroachment towards the beaches could be behind the disaster.

On the other hand, it was reported that residents of the collapsed building had received a letter in April warning of the aggravation of structural damage to the building.

The president of the Champlain Towers South Condominium, which oversees construction of the South Champlain towers, wrote in that letter that the “significant damage” was now “much worse”, warning of accelerating “significant deterioration”.

He stressed that the damage first reported in 2018 “has become much worse” and, in the absence of urgent repairs, will soon begin “to increase”.

That letter also warned of damage to the roof, and estimated that repairing the building’s problems would cost about $15 million.

These warnings were based on findings from a 2018 inspection of the apartment building by a consulting engineer that urged timely repairs after finding “significant structural damage”, including “significant cracks” in an underground parking garage, a collapse Columns, beams and walls under the 13-storey building.

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In his report, the engineer called on managers to repair the cracked columns and crumbling concrete, and work was recently about to begin when the building collapsed.

The engineer detailed a range of problems in the South Champlain Towers complex (including the collapsed apartment block), including poor waterproofing at the base of the building.

The technical report prompted plans for a multimillion-dollar repair project due to begin soon. More than two-and-a-half years after building managers warned, the apartment building suffered a catastrophic collapse, burying sleeping residents under rubble.

The complex’s management association had revealed some problems in the wake of the collapse, but only after city officials released a 2018 report late Friday.

This report notes that the damage to concrete and steel reinforcement, most likely caused by continuous water intrusion and years of exposure to corrosive salt air along the coast of South Florida.

While the controversy continues over the cause of this disaster, the search is still underway for 149 people who were listed as missing after the apartment building collapsed.

Source: American media