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Miami Beach condo building near deadly collapse evacuated

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Renovation contractor Marash Markaj, who has lived in the building for more than six years, said the damage goes beyond a single support beam.

“I’ve seen this issue for years,” Markazi told the Associated Press. He tried to report problems such as cracked columns and puddles in the garage area to building managers and the city’s construction department.

“I never got a response,” he said, adding that he felt “dangerous” living in the building and the way it was maintained.

In a letter to the city, Inspection Engineers Inc. said it was working to obtain the city’s permits to install a “comprehensive shoring system” within 10 days. Then another inspection of the building, built in 1971, will take place.

During an inspection about 10 months ago, engineers discovered “an area of ​​concern that we have designated as a priority for repair,” Arshad Vioar said in an email sent to the Miami Beach Building Department.

The building association selected a contractor and began repairs about four weeks ago. The company that inspected the building was asked to oversee the work and said this week that “one of his main beams in the garage had a structural deflection of about ½ inch, widening an existing crack that needed repair. I noticed,” he said Vioar. said in an email.

Among the handful of condo residents who returned to the scene Friday morning to see what was happening was Felicia, 71, who has lived in the building for 15 years and now lives nearby with her daughter. Flores was included. She passed by walking her little dog. She said work has been going on at the building for several weeks, but something changed on Thursday.

“I had to leave suddenly because there was something more serious going on,” Flores said.

Miami Beach officials say condo owners who rent out units have temporary housing coverage for renters under local law for up to three months or until the building becomes habitable again. I am forced to.

Sammy Bosch, who has lived in the building for nine years, said residents were given little time to move out. They were told at 5pm on Thursday that they had to be out by 7pm.

“I don’t know exactly what’s going on inside, but I can’t be here,” said Bosch as he rode back on his scooter Friday morning to observe the scene.

Port Royal is about 1.3 miles south of the Champlain Towers South Condominium in Surfside, Florida, where 98 people died in a June 2021 collapse.

The disaster at Surfside’s 12-story oceanfront condo resulted in the largest non-hurricane emergency response in Florida’s history. This includes rescue teams from across the United States and as far afield as Israel to help local teams search for victims.

Other buildings in South Florida have been evacuated amid similar safety concerns since Surfside’s collapse.

The disaster focused scrutiny throughout Florida on the structural integrity of aging condominium towers along its coastline, and the state has since stepped up laws requiring building inspections and periodic recertification. showing movement.

Miami-Dade County is requesting recertification for the first time in 40 years, and the Surfside building was undergoing its recertification process when it collapsed.

New state regulations signed in May require buildings to undergo an initial recertification after 30 years, or 25 years if within 3 miles of the coast, and every 10 years thereafter.

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