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Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:02 PM

*UPDATE* May I have a word about the Surfside Building Collapse

Last edited Thu Jun 24, 2021, 10:17 PM - Edit history (1)

*UPDATE*
Edited to add

I am getting deployed after all. I will be onsite in the morning. I had my doubts that my team would get called up for a number of reasons but we are getting mobilized.

I may or may not have time to check in but will let you know what I can when I can.

Wish me luck.



I am seeing speculation all over the place about what happened.

Please, just let it be for now. This is a time to let the professionals go to work. The immediate goal is rescue of the living and recovery of the dead. There will come a time for cause and blame later. For now, let's stick with mourning the dead and hope that more survivors can be found.

One of the reasons that this is bugging the shit out of me is that this is kind of my wheelhouse and even I don't have an opinion yet about what went wrong.

For context, I am a Structural Engineer trained to be a Structural Specialist on FEMA Search and Rescue teams. I have been doing it for over 25 years and have been to disasters like 9/11, Katrina and Haiti. I have spent countless hours training for evaluation of exactly these kinds of issues. At least two of my compatriots (and probably others) are on site as we speak. You may have seen me talk about it before in posts like this one https://www.democraticunderground.com/10028880342#post27 where I fight technical issues with all kinds of misguided opinions.

Aside from all that, I have lived and practiced engineering in South Florida for over 30 years. One of my biggest current projects is right down the street from this disaster. I am familiar with the geology, construction, codes and conditions of this area.

So I say with no small amount of confidence that I am better positioned to have an opinion about this than anyone. And I HAVE NO IDEA what happened yet. It may take weeks or months to figure it out.

So give it a rest. Express grief for the victims and hope for the missing. But please refrain from trying to guess what went wrong.

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Reply *UPDATE* May I have a word about the Surfside Building Collapse (Original post)
genxlib Jun 2021 OP
treestar Jun 2021 #1
genxlib Jun 2021 #7
Warpy Jun 2021 #97
2Gingersnaps Jun 2021 #126
blm Jun 2021 #2
Gregory Peccary Jun 2021 #3
SheltieLover Jun 2021 #4
vanlassie Jun 2021 #5
genxlib Jun 2021 #33
vanlassie Jun 2021 #44
secondwind Jun 2021 #53
genxlib Jun 2021 #55
vanlassie Jun 2021 #81
NH Ethylene Jun 2021 #128
dsc Jun 2021 #76
Wingus Dingus Jun 2021 #6
genxlib Jun 2021 #9
Wingus Dingus Jun 2021 #12
Demovictory9 Jun 2021 #10
Ptah Jun 2021 #8
hlthe2b Jun 2021 #11
genxlib Jun 2021 #20
iscooterliberally Jun 2021 #67
Random Boomer Jun 2021 #93
hlthe2b Jun 2021 #94
genxlib Jun 2021 #102
genxlib Jun 2021 #17
Ptah Jun 2021 #24
Marrah_Goodman Jun 2021 #87
gldstwmn Jun 2021 #68
sop Jun 2021 #13
genxlib Jun 2021 #47
zuul Jun 2021 #49
sop Jun 2021 #65
flotsam Jun 2021 #123
Ruby the Liberal Jun 2021 #99
LexVegas Jun 2021 #14
llashram Jun 2021 #15
Calista241 Jun 2021 #16
Bucky Jun 2021 #19
denbot Jun 2021 #36
mwooldri Jun 2021 #57
DBoon Jun 2021 #66
grantcart Jun 2021 #136
NBachers Jun 2021 #18
Demovictory9 Jun 2021 #21
genxlib Jun 2021 #30
monkeyman1 Jun 2021 #22
yardwork Jun 2021 #23
Stuart G Jun 2021 #25
Hekate Jun 2021 #26
TheBlackAdder Jun 2021 #27
genxlib Jun 2021 #32
Politicub Jun 2021 #28
Thunderbeast Jun 2021 #29
StarfishSaver Jun 2021 #31
applegrove Jun 2021 #34
genxlib Jun 2021 #37
applegrove Jun 2021 #45
Random Boomer Jun 2021 #95
applegrove Jun 2021 #96
applegrove Jun 2021 #98
left-of-center2012 Jun 2021 #35
genxlib Jun 2021 #38
2Gingersnaps Jun 2021 #127
Old Crank Jun 2021 #39
Wounded Bear Jun 2021 #40
Mr.Bill Jun 2021 #41
genxlib Jun 2021 #52
Mr.Bill Jun 2021 #61
genxlib Jun 2021 #70
KT2000 Jun 2021 #89
Martin68 Jun 2021 #42
TNNurse Jun 2021 #43
3catwoman3 Jun 2021 #51
Mr.Bill Jun 2021 #63
TNNurse Jun 2021 #71
Jilly_in_VA Jun 2021 #134
LineReply .
sarchasm Jun 2021 #46
Arazi Jun 2021 #48
genxlib Jun 2021 #54
Treefrog Jun 2021 #50
LittleGirl Jun 2021 #56
avebury Jun 2021 #125
LittleGirl Jun 2021 #133
nolabear Jun 2021 #58
NotANeocon Jun 2021 #59
ShazzieB Jun 2021 #79
NotANeocon Jun 2021 #91
Leith Jun 2021 #60
brooklynite Jun 2021 #92
keithbvadu2 Jun 2021 #62
burrowowl Jun 2021 #113
MrModerate Jun 2021 #64
OriginalGeek Jun 2021 #69
genxlib Jun 2021 #72
LanternWaste Jun 2021 #73
genxlib Jun 2021 #74
LanternWaste Jun 2021 #75
genxlib Jun 2021 #77
ShazzieB Jun 2021 #82
USALiberal Jun 2021 #83
USALiberal Jun 2021 #103
Pobeka Jun 2021 #78
Pobeka Jun 2021 #80
USALiberal Jun 2021 #84
Ilsa Jun 2021 #85
Marrah_Goodman Jun 2021 #86
chia Jun 2021 #88
speaknow Jun 2021 #90
genxlib Jun 2021 #100
DemocratSinceBirth Jun 2021 #101
speaknow Jun 2021 #104
genxlib Jun 2021 #109
Ace Rothstein Jun 2021 #111
speaknow Jun 2021 #114
CaliforniaPeggy Jun 2021 #105
Laura PourMeADrink Jun 2021 #106
moondust Jun 2021 #107
electric_blue68 Jun 2021 #108
Ace Rothstein Jun 2021 #110
LudwigPastorius Jun 2021 #112
PCIntern Jun 2021 #115
Mike Nelson Jun 2021 #116
NH Ethylene Jun 2021 #131
Joinfortmill Jun 2021 #117
malaise Jun 2021 #118
moose966 Jun 2021 #119
TreasonousBastard Jun 2021 #120
jimlup Jun 2021 #121
karynnj Jun 2021 #122
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 2021 #124
lillypaddle Jun 2021 #129
lagomorph777 Jun 2021 #130
BlueWavePsych Jun 2021 #132
seta1950 Jun 2021 #135
Retired Engineer Bob Jun 2021 #137
Ilsa Jun 2021 #138

Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:04 PM

1. Great. Please post what your thought are as information comes out

DU can't help itself - it is climate change, the Republicans, and deathSantis' fault already!

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Response to treestar (Reply #1)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:11 PM

7. I might get some preliminary feedback later today from my associates currently at the site

Rest assured, we will be dissecting it for months. We use these kinds of things as training exercises so we will spend an excessive amount of time going through it.

And it isn't just DU. You should have seen the idiotic things posted in the local paper.

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Response to genxlib (Reply #7)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 08:16 PM

97. Well, stay away from FB and Twitter.

Newspapers tend to cull the most outlandish stuff. FB and Twitter leave it up.

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Response to genxlib (Reply #7)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 08:09 AM

126. Thank you for the job you do....

This is the point of figuring out exactly what happened with Covid's origins, so this doesn't happen again. The politics surrounding the outbreak and handling of it only make it more likely it WILL happen again. How many of those can we afford?

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:08 PM

3. Excuse my skepticism that Florida officials will be forthcoming and honest about what happened

I'm assuming politics will get involved, this is Florida after all.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:10 PM

4. Ty for the work you do

And for sharing your voice of reason with us.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:10 PM

5. I saw the mayor insist it should not be called Surfside. She used a different name- started with a C

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:05 PM

33. Not sure what that is about

It has always been called Surfside as far as I know. This particular site is right on the border with Miami Beach. but still appears to be in Surfside.

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Response to genxlib (Reply #33)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:30 PM

44. Here:

“It was a high-rise condominium building called Champlain Towers South, CBS Miami reports. “

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #44)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:41 PM

53. Champlain Towers, in Surfside, FL.

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #44)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:46 PM

55. OK

That is just the name of the Condo complex.

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Response to genxlib (Reply #55)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 06:01 PM

81. Yea I think she thought it was helpful for people to have the exact location.

Of course this was this morning.

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #81)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 08:52 AM

128. She probably wanted to avoid tarnishing the name of the entire town.

This must be a disaster for their tourist industry.

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 05:02 PM

76. she was trying to stop calls from relatives of every condo owner in the entire town

by having them name the actual building.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:11 PM

6. Telling people not to speculate is an impossible order.

Human nature and all. We're wired to gather info and learn, for our survival.

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Response to Wingus Dingus (Reply #6)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:20 PM

9. You are probably right

But there is a difference between speculating to one's self and posting opinions about those speculations.

I am more understanding where there is an effort to "gather info and learn". Too often they are just put forth as opinions without basis.

Mostly, I just find it to be disrespectful while there are still people missing.

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Response to genxlib (Reply #9)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:25 PM

12. Yeah. I think because it's so terrifying that this can happen in our country

with no real warning--and it's only natural to wonder where else it can happen. The urge to figure it out has to be insanely strong for people like you. Other types of speculation, like trying to make it fit into a political agenda, that's kind of lame/insensitive. Edit to add: I wish you and your colleagues luck in finding out the cause(s).

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:18 PM

8. Is this information accurate?

Collapsed Miami condo had been sinking into Earth as early as the 1990s, researchers say
A Florida high rise that collapsed Wednesday night was determined to be unstable a year ago, according to a researcher at Florida International University.

The building, which was constructed in 1981 on reclaimed wetlands, has been sinking at an alarming rate since the 1990s, according to a 2020 study conducted by Shimon Wdowinski, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Florida International University.

When he heard the news that a condo had collapsed, he immediately knew which building it was, Wdowinski said.

“I looked at it this morning and said ‘Oh my god.’ We did detect that,” he said.
-snip-

The building was sinking at a rate of about 2 millimeters a year in the 1990s, and the sinking could have slowed or accelerated in the time since. - USA Today


https://www.democraticunderground.com/100215558295

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Response to Ptah (Reply #8)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:24 PM

11. It has been reported that it was literally under inspection when this occurred...

Speculation or no, there was apparently evidence for concern about the structural integrity of this building. Unusual for a building not older than it was (built in '81). What actually caused the collapse is unknown. That the building was one that had engendered concern does not appear to be.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #11)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:39 PM

20. A clarification

To the best of my knowledge I have not heard of it being inspected for a particular concern.

The building was being inspected for a 40-year recertification. It is a standard process that all buildings in this region have to go through when they hit that age.

It is more akin to an annual checkup than going to a doctor to address a specific issue.

If anything, this would have been an opportunity to catch any issues if they were showing themselves (ie cracking or other forms of distress).

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Response to genxlib (Reply #20)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 04:13 PM

67. I work in a warehouse in North Miami Beach and we just had our 40 year inspection.

The inspectors made me fix a couple of emergency exit lights before they would pass us. I drove right down Collins yesterday and went right by the building that went down. Very scary! Those poor people!

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #11)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 07:59 PM

93. That is a misinterpretation

The inspection was routine, mandated by the age of the building not by reports of any specific issue.

There WAS a report back in the 1990s mentioning that this specific building was settling at a rate above normal, but unfortunately the focus of that report was on sea water level and the callout of the building was just an aside. No one at the time thought to connect the issue with possible structural failure and raise an alarm. Given that the building didn't fall for another 20+ years, it's easy to see why that reference was buried.

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Response to Random Boomer (Reply #93)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 08:07 PM

94. Your point has already been made by a much earlier poster. However, it does not take into account

a filed complaint over external structural integrity.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #94)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 10:22 PM

102. I would take that with a grain of salt

Condominiums are notoriously litigious and people are making claims all the time. You put 130 owners into a building and it only takes one to make a claim.

Beside that, most people don't have the wherewithal to determine a structural issue from an aesthetic issue.

I'm not saying it wasn't a real issue. But I certainly wouldn't judge by someone making a claim. It just happens way too often to be believed all the time.

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Response to Ptah (Reply #8)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:34 PM

17. I don't really have any additional information on that

But I would be cautious of it for a couple of reasons. It isn't a structural evaluation. It was noted as part of what is essentially an advanced survey.

In general, buildings move more than people realize. That amount of movement by itself could be a cause for concern but it is pretty small. It depends on what kind of foundations are used . The big question is differential settlement. It is worse when only certain spots settle because it cause loads to be transferred elsewhere.

It will be additional information that is used in doing an overall evaluation. It may end up being a critical piece but may not.

I simply urge patience to let experts get to it.

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Response to genxlib (Reply #17)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:44 PM

24. Thanks for your perspective, genxlib.

I look forward to more information.

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Response to genxlib (Reply #17)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 06:37 PM

87. I look at it sort of like a plane crash.

We probably won't know for a long time and when we do it will probably be a bunch of problems that ended in a perfect storm.

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Response to Ptah (Reply #8)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 04:22 PM

68. No one should have been

living there if that's the case. They also shouldn't be living in all those buildings around it.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:26 PM

13. Video of the condo building in Surfside collapsing:

https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/video-shows-wing-of-surfside-condo-building-collapse-in-seconds/2479955/

Generally speaking, from a structural engineer's point of view, what could cause a 12-storey building to come down like that?

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Response to sop (Reply #13)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:32 PM

47. I was emailed that video this morning

Needless to say, it is distressing.

It is too early to say what went wrong but one thing that video does show is that it started on the lowest levels of the pool deck side of the building (ie the inside of the 'L' shaped building)

I don't want to speculate but something went wrong with the support in that location. Could be any number of members or failure modes there.

There isn't much I can say from a "generally speaking" stand point because this is a real outlier. Generally speaking, we don't usually see this happening without a precipitating event. Virtually all of the examples of this happen during an event (eg. earthquake) or shortly after construction. I am not sure there is a precedent for this.

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Response to genxlib (Reply #47)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 04:09 PM

65. Thanks for your thoughts.

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Response to genxlib (Reply #47)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 07:35 AM

123. Or during construction

like L'ambiance Towers in Bpt Ct in about 1987. We had almost 30 killed. I worked as an EMT the day after the collapse. We never managed to rescue any survivors and I saw things I still see in bad dreams. Take care of yourself and your crew. Good Luck.

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Response to sop (Reply #13)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 09:55 PM

99. Whoa - that happened so quick

Its like the earth just opened up and swallowed the block.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:28 PM

14. You're right. Such speculation should be left to internet message boards. nt

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:34 PM

16. I still think it was Aliens.

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Response to Calista241 (Reply #16)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:49 PM

57. Not some malfunctioning space lasers?

Or alien maggots taking out some random building after escaping Mar A Lago...

In all seriousness we won't know for some time. We can speculate on sinkholes, nearby construction disturbing the foundations, or some weird mechanical failure. Or something else entirely. Unlike the OP, I'm a delivery boy... so I'm not qualified to say it was XYZ. Let's hope we find more survivors and no more dead.

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Response to Calista241 (Reply #16)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 04:11 PM

66. Even an expert on alien technology would agree

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Response to Calista241 (Reply #16)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 12:25 PM

136. Jewish space lazer

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:38 PM

18. Thank you- I appreciate your experience and sensibility.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:41 PM

21. 'Once A Failure Occurs, Gravity Takes Over And Increases Load': Engineer Paul Danforth Gives Insight

‘Once A Failure Occurs, Gravity Takes Over And Increases Load’: Engineer Paul Danforth Gives Insight Into The Condo Collapse In Surfside

https://miami.cbslocal.com/2021/06/24/miami-dade-condo-collapse-paul-danforth-engineering/

MIAMI (CBSMiami)- The partial collapse of the Chaplain Towers South condo building in Surfside early Thursday morning has left plenty of questions as to what caused the collapse that has left at least one person dead and 51 occupants unaccounted for. The building was erected prior to Hurricane Andrew and seemed to have no structural failure from that storm, so the process of finding out what went wrong could take awhile.

“Obviously, something happened, the building has been there for 40 years, it’s been through Hurricane Andrew without any major structural failure. Something happened here and it’s going to take a lot of forensic investigation to identify what caused it,” Paul Danforth, Senior Engineer and Vice President of Corporate at Universal Engineering told CBS 4 this morning.

Danforth explained that there is always consideration when designing a building given to potential safeguards against a failure like the one seen at Chaplain Towers. But, once a failure happens, gravity is in control.

“The failure in this case could have happened on the ground level, it could have happened on the roof level. Once a failure occurs, and gravity takes over, it just continues to increase load as the failure continues to evolve,” Danforth said.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Reply #21)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:58 PM

30. This is a perfect example of the media engaging in the same exercise

They found an engineer to comment but he said nothing of note. He isn't wrong but he doesn't actually say anything.

Perhaps he is describing what we call progressive collapse where a single failure can cascade throughout a structure as loads transfer from the failed member into adjacent members. That transfer of loads can then overstress those members and cause a domino effect. That is clearly what happened here to some degree but doesn't really address why it started in any event.

I am familiar with him and I don't blame him. It is the engineer equivalent of politic speak.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:43 PM

22. been in construction all my life & agree with you 100% !! thank you !!

 

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:43 PM

23. Just making the observation that approximately 30% of US adults think aliens stole the election.

Or some variation of nonsense... so the likelihood that a lot of nonsense will be said and believed is high. Maybe less so on DU than elsewhere online, but still...

Thank you for what you do and for posting here. I look forward to your opinion when more information is in.

For now, I feel grief for the victims and hope that the missing will be found unharmed.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:44 PM

25. Thank You !!! K & R

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:46 PM

26. Thank you for your input, genxlib. It's helpful and timely.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:53 PM

27. We all know the 9/11 Truthers will be promoting thermite--was there a gold depository nearby? 🤡

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #27)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:01 PM

32. You joke

But I spent my first day on site at 9/11 looking for that gold deposit. We were going into the basement below the pile for other reasons and they briefed us on it "just in case".

Of course they also briefed on the possibility that the basement might be contaminated with poisonous phosphene gas so I had other things on my mind.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:54 PM

28. DU is a place to discuss things, especially things that are being

covered by the media.

People, when chatting with friends, tend to speculate. I like it when people link to a news story or expert as part of their speculation, but discourse typically doesn’t operate in that way.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:54 PM

29. Much as last week's tragedy at the Pride Parade....

We have been conditioned by corruption and sensationalism to jump to erroneous conclusions prior to seeing the facts. Even when the forensic engineers find the root cause, there will be those that blame liberals, gays, antifa, satan, the illuminati, and George Soros.

How disappointed will 7x24 cable news (and DU) be when they find rusted rebar, cracked concrete, or a truck accidentally hitting a column in the parking garage. It may be as simple as a calculation error in the building's design.

Let's hope they find survivors, and focus on the why with real information.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 02:59 PM

31. Thank you for this.

 

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:09 PM

34. And right after a mass shooting is no time to discuss guns.

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Response to applegrove (Reply #34)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:19 PM

37. I disagree with the equivalency

From the sound of the first gunshot, you know what caused the shooting. I absolutely agree that we should be talking about gun control at that time.

The equivalency here is when we jump to conclusions about motive for a shooting before knowing.

We can talk about guns right after a shooting but it can be detrimental to jump to a motive like race until we actually know something about the shooting.

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Response to genxlib (Reply #37)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:32 PM

45. They knew the building in Surfside was sinking in 1990.

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Response to applegrove (Reply #45)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 08:09 PM

95. "They" who?

The 1990s report was focused on another topic (sea-water levels rising) and the observation of that particular building sinking was just a side note, not a warning. A single sentence in a report from the 1990s is hardly a "they knew" condemnation. Someone knew, but didn't think it was important, and it was only 20+ years later that it was recognized as a possible factor in the building's collapse.

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Response to Random Boomer (Reply #95)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 08:15 PM

96. Civil engineers. Saw it on the DU but I can't remember where.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:16 PM

35. It is our nature to speculate

Wishing it otherwise won't stop that.

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Reply #35)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:20 PM

38. It's not a coincidence that I like windmills

Maybe I can keep a damper on the most ridiculous speculations... or go down trying

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Response to genxlib (Reply #38)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 08:26 AM

127. AH! A Quixote!

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:22 PM

40. I tend to withhold my opinions on events like this for several days, at least...

to let things settle and some real facts come out. Everything in the first 12-48 hours tends to be highly speculative and hyperbolic.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:22 PM

41. I would imagine that the priority right now

for professionals like you on the scene would be to look at the strucural integrity of what's left for the safety of rescue workers.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #41)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:39 PM

52. Yes, you are correct

That is our primary purpose for being there as part of rescue teams. We are responsible for evaluating the stability of what remains of the structure and recommending mitigation for stabilizing.

If you are interested, the position is described here http://www.disasterengineer.org/AboutUs/tabid/59/Default.aspx

Studying failure and collapse mechanism is just a means to an ends to best evaluate for those responsibilities.

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Response to genxlib (Reply #52)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:57 PM

61. In the 80s I had a friend who worked on the study

of the balcony collapse at that hotel that happened. I think it was a Hyatt? He told me all about it and it was very interesting. The study had not been released yet and I asked him was it the architect or the contractor? He said "It was both but you didn't hear that from me."

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #61)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 04:37 PM

70. Yes that is a famous case study for us

It is presented as a cautionary tale of seemingly innocuous decisions that can have disastrous consequences. It was pretty well established what went wrong. It had to do with a relatively minor change to the hanger system that suspended the mezzanines. At first glance, it seemed like a simple substitution but in reality it doubled the load on one connection point.

The contractor proposed it and the engineer accepted it so there was plenty of blame to go around. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyatt_Regency_walkway_collapse

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Response to genxlib (Reply #70)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 06:52 PM

89. I am sure there are engineers

all over the country today feeling sick at what happened. My father was a Boeing engineer and he had to participate in crash investigations but when this Hyatt collapse happened he was visibly upset for a time. I guess this is a feeling and fear that drives most engineers to perfection in their work. We forget there are many jobs that carry heavy responsibilities.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:26 PM

42. Thanks for the reality check, genxlib.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:26 PM

43. Since we have been fed a steady diet of speculation by 24hr news channels

for years now, it has gotten worse.

I am a retired RN. I see people diagnosing people from still and moving photos, doctors do it. Our previous senator, Bill Frist, an actual MD diagnosed Terri Shiavo without ever being in her presence.

It is dangerous, it is ignorant, it egotistical and it is often deadly wrong to assume you know things that you do not.

I appreciate your point.

Having said that, I did hear someone on CBS this morning say "there was something wrong with that building" and I thought that was appropriate to say.

I have no idea what happened and will wait until people like you who know what they hell they are talking about study and announce facts.

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Response to TNNurse (Reply #43)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:38 PM

51. Hearing some of the dumbass things said by doctors who are in...

...the House and Senate makes me wonder if they moved into politics because they weren't very good at being doctors. I wouldn't let Rand Paul anywhere near my eyes.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #51)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 04:00 PM

63. I figure many of the people in Congress

are there because they were not very good at their profession, whatever it was.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #63)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 04:42 PM

71. I think Bill Frist was a pretty good doctor.

Rand Paul is a raving lunatic and should never be allowed to touch anyone else for medical care.

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Response to TNNurse (Reply #71)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 10:50 AM

134. Bill Frist

regardless of his politics (and for a Republican, he wasn't too awful) was part of a family of doctors, kind of similar to the Mayos, who operated a group in Nashville and were highly regarded. His brother, also a cardiologist, did a 5-way CABG on a dear friend and did a bang-up job even though the man was in frail health and there were other complications. I had a pretty high regard for Sen. Frist as a person. He actually saved someone's life in the Capitol while he was a senator by knowing what to do for them and performing CPR.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:34 PM

48. My concern is if other adjacent buildings are in jeopardy if the ground is unstable

I presume your fellow engineers are evaluating that potential but it feels like an "urgent" question to resolve asap tbh

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Response to Arazi (Reply #48)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:46 PM

54. Not the same engineers

But there will be no shortage of engineers looking into this as it relates to every other building in the region.

My industry usually gets a pretty thorough enema after every disaster. The code books get thicker and the agency reviews get tougher.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:38 PM

50. This is typical whenever anything big happens.

 

Posters immediately assign blame, inform us as to causes, perps, and any other fascinating info they can pull out of their arses. All the “experts” are almost always proven wrong.

Thank you for a sensible post!

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:48 PM

56. The video sealed the grief

OMG, a horrible terrible tragedy. Let’s hold our anger and look for the needy.
This is so sad.
6/24/21
Condo collapse

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Response to LittleGirl (Reply #56)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 07:52 AM

125. If you look at the video I don't know how anybody in the

initial section that collapsed knew what happened because it happened so fast. The other section to the right that lasted a few sections longer before collapsing might have had people realizing that something very terrible was happening. It must have been terrifying for them.

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Response to avebury (Reply #125)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 09:43 AM

133. It will be a miracle

finding anyone alive. Those people didn’t know what hit ‘em. I hope none suffered too long. We need to come together and help the survivors and mourning family and friends. Just awful. My heart breaks for all of them.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:50 PM

58. Thank you. Speculation creates emotion as though it was fact.

Even after it’s disproven people hang into suspicions. Right now those people need help and their families need peace.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:51 PM

59. There is no such time!!

There will come a time for cause and blame later.


There is no such time for blame because it is wasted effort. Get the answer to three questions and leave the blame to those who really don't give a F but want to appear wise.

Ask "What went wrong?" "Why did it go wrong?" "What must be done to prevent it happening again?"

If the only aim was to assign blame when aviation maydays occur nothing would change and planes would constantly fall from the sky.

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Response to NotANeocon (Reply #59)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 05:28 PM

79. Maybe "blame" is the wrong word?

Perhaps "responsibility" would be a more acceptable term?

Either way, it seems to me that part of the process of figuring out "what went wrong" includes determining what decisions/errors may have been made that led to this happening, and IF it is determined that errors/faulty decisions were involved, that inevitably leads to the question of who was responsible for such.

I agree that 1) it's way too early to start assigning blame here, 2) jumping to conclusions about the responsibility for this is WAY WAY premature, and 3) a bunch of random people on a message board are not qualified to do that even IF we had access to all the pertinent information, which literally NO ONE has at this point.

The time WILL come for that, eventually. Just imagine all the insurance claims and lawsuits that will come out of this. All of those insurance companies and lawyers are going to be very interested in establishing what entity/ies bear(s) responsibility for this (i.e., who's "to blame" ), and I'm sure the courts will be very busy for a while sorting all that out.

I absolutely agree that right now is NOT the time for jumping to conclusions about blame and we here at DU are definitely NOT qualified to do that. But there will come a time for establishing blame/responsibility, make no mistake.

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Response to ShazzieB (Reply #79)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 07:05 PM

91. Yes indeed!

Let the big wig lawyers assign blame or whatever jargon they prefer, proportionately, later. They may even employ some professionals to help them. But they will never prevent a repetition by that method and that is the purpose of the 3Q approach.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:54 PM

60. This is one of the best things about DU

We have doctors to explain medical issues, lawyers to explain legal issues, and now a structural engineer to explain what happened to the condo building as soon as the experts look into it and report.

Thank you! I'll wait for you to let us know in language that we nonexperts can understand.

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Response to Leith (Reply #60)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 07:30 PM

92. We also have non-doctors, non-lawyers and non-engineers ready to speculate endlessly...

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 03:59 PM

62. The old Code - of Hammurabi

The old Code - of Hammurabi

https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=5181e80b-f307-42e6-a357-c2d081b678ff

229 If a builder builds a house for someone, and does not construct it properly, and the house which he built falls in and kills its owner, then that builder shall be put to death.

230 If it kills the son of the owner, the son of that builder shall be put to death.

231 If it kills a slave of the owner, then he shall pay, slave for slave, to the owner of the house.

232 If it ruins goods, he shall make compensation for all that has been ruined, and inasmuch as he did not construct properly this house which he built and it fell, he shall re-erect the house from his own means.

233 If a builder builds a house for someone, even though he has not yet completed it; if then the walls seem toppling, the builder must make the walls solid from his own means.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 04:08 PM

64. Or, put another way...

 

Don't opine about what caused this unless you want to be rightly accused of talking out of your ass.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 04:36 PM

69. Thank you genxlib - I am guilty and I will stop

I probably had 40 speculations in the first 30 minutes of reading about this and my only engineering experience is Lincoln Logs and Legos. I genuinely appreciate your experience and your kindness - I mean I think you could be well within your rights to tell everyone to just STFU until more is known but you were much nicer about it than that.

I'm glad you are here.

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #69)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 04:44 PM

72. Thank you OG

I know I have been guilty of it myself on things outside of my expertise.

It helps to take a breath sometimes. I have to remind myself that not everything needs an opinion from me.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 04:46 PM

73. Speculation lacks consequence, and is thus, at best, without substances.

 

There's no measured or objective result of the speculation, it won't change result or challenge the resultant conclusion. And though it adds nothing, nor does it deny anything.

So I'm not too sure what the precise and relevant problem with anyone engaging in idle speculation actually is.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #73)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 04:56 PM

74. I would tend to disagree

I think it can have consequences.

For instance,

The original designer of that building deserves to maintain their reputation if it turns out not to be the problem.

Throwing sea level rise at every problem simply weakens the arguments when it turns out not to be the case

Can create panic amongst people who live in similar conditions, buildings, etc.

Can muddy the water and make it difficult to get to the actual problem that needs fixing.

So I do think there is some potential harm.

But if nothing else, I think it is disrespectful to 100 people who are still missing

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Response to genxlib (Reply #74)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 04:59 PM

75. 'Potential harm' is an abstract.

 

'Potential harm' is an abstract; and the corollary of speculation (silence) can be (and has been) just as "potentially harmful."

Unless it can demonstrably illustrated that DU's speculation of this instance explicitly denies "rescue of the living and recovery of the dead", you're merely requesting people avoid a discussion only to better assuage your own sensibilities.

And disrespect is not necessarily inherent in a discussion of critical failures.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #75)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 05:05 PM

77. I don't really understand your argument

Nothing is more abstract than guessing as to the cause of something without information or expertise.

I would posit that the 'potential harm' is far more real than the purpose of the guessing to begin with.

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Response to genxlib (Reply #77)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 06:05 PM

82. I hear you, and I agree.

The kind of "potential harm" you're talking about is definitely a very real possibility.

Unfortunately, I don't think there's any way to stop people from wondering and, yes, speculating. It's just human nature in a case like this.

What I wish people would do is refrain from jumping to conclusions and making completely unfounded assumptions about who or what entity may be to blame. That is the kind of thing that can lead to potentially damaging professional reputations, etc., and imo, it's also a huge waste of time and energy at this extremely early stage when we have basically nothing to base it on.

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Response to genxlib (Reply #74)


Response to genxlib (Reply #74)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 10:27 PM

103. It's a discussion board. It will mean nothing. It will change nothing. Lighten up.!

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #73)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 05:25 PM

78. Tell that to folks not getting vaccinated because they believe it will change their DNA.

Most of those folks couldn't come up with that idea on their own. It took some original "speculator" to generate the idea.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 05:29 PM

80. It was a horrible thing. Thx for your post and may the rescuers be safe as possible.

Rule #1 I learned in 20 years of annual safety/first aid training: Make sure the scene is safe so you don't become a victim too.

I can only imagine the coordination it takes to perform a safe search and rescue on a site like this. Thanks for your participation in these kinds of events.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 06:19 PM

84. It's a discussion board, lighten up! Nt

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 06:24 PM

85. You're absolutely correct on every point.

Psychologically, I guess with such a potential for large loss of life, people are afraid. They probably first think "terrorism" because it casts blame on others, not our professional builders, engineers, mother nature, etc. I can imagine there are many people in nearby condos looking for another place to sleep until they know how it happened.

But yeah, there is nothing to be gained from that, and our energies should lean toward helping the injured and helping the helpers.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 07:05 PM

90. First of 9/11 was not a katrina or Haiti Storm.

And if you are in Florida as you say you
are and an Engineer then you would know
the problem in Florida is sand, right.
The problem is/was who paid who.

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Response to speaknow (Reply #90)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 10:14 PM

100. So you stop by to imply I am a liar

What the hell is your point.

Of course 9/11, Katrina and Haiti (earthquake btw) are all different from each other and from this one. We study them all. I only mention them to establish my credentials. But since you doubt I am even in Florida, I don't suppose you believe that either.

And so what about sand. Thousands of buildings are built up and down the coast. We have geotechnical engineers that make it work all the time. There are building 4 times this height in the surrounding area.

So what is your point.

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Response to genxlib (Reply #100)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 10:17 PM

101. A structural engineer on CNN said the pillars were compromised.

He could not say what caused them to be compromised with the limited information we have


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Response to genxlib (Reply #100)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 10:37 PM

104. Thanks !

By the way would you like some cheese
to go with your whine.

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Response to speaknow (Reply #104)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 11:00 PM

109. Bye! Blocked.

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Response to speaknow (Reply #104)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 11:17 PM

111. You seem unnecessarily combative.

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Response to Ace Rothstein (Reply #111)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 02:43 AM

114. All I said was 9/11 has nothing in comon with Katrina plus I said

you are in Florida and an engineer. I spoke to a few
engineers in Florida, and they told ne
there is problems with sand.
I understand what you were writing, but there are
problems and many sink holes appear.
I lost a friend in Seffner because of those holes.
If you think I was rude, I'm sorry for that.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 10:42 PM

105. Best of luck, and thank you so much for the update! ♥

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 10:45 PM

106. Point well taken. Good luck to you!

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 10:49 PM

107. Good luck! Be safe!

Thank you for your service!

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 10:52 PM

108. All Safety to you - genxlib, and all working on site.

And as a NYC'r - Thank You:
for your efforts in the days, and months of horror we enduted, that you and compatriots made to find the physical causes. Much respect!

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 11:15 PM

110. Just saw your update, stay safe.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 12:25 AM

112. "Please refrain from guessing....etc."

Thanks, but I think most of us know to take the idle speculation of some random online schlub as just that.

And, it would only interfere with letting "the professionals do their job" if the professionals spent their time trying to rebut uninformed internet guesses instead of...doing their job.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 04:06 AM

115. Wait just one minute...

Do you really have the temerity to say that competence, experience, and a thorough grounding in the physical sciences might be important here? That material science and structural engineering might have something to do with this, and that technical analysis will eventually demonstrate the cause?

It’s much easier to stipulate that God did this in order to punish the sinners living in this wing of this building. Do not question the motives of the Almighty for he has purpose.

just in case…

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 04:47 AM

116. Good luck...

... I had not been speculating very much... then, I saw the video included in this thread. It showed the collapse. Seeing that really illustrated the tragedy. On the TV news, it looked like the side of a building. But the collapse was far more extensive... horrific. Now, I'm starting to wonder... how does it go so suddenly? Is the remainder of the building safe? Couldn't that collapse in seconds, also... I hope you and the searchers stay safe and are able to save lives. I am worried about the rescue teams...

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Response to Mike Nelson (Reply #116)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 09:20 AM

131. I panicked a bit when I saw a team looking around under the remaining building.

And thought of all the firefighters who died trying to rescue people when the Twin Towers collapsed.

I'm glad people like the OP will be there making sure rescuers don't get hurt.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 06:41 AM

117. Thank you. Stay safe.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 06:52 AM

119. Thanks for the work you do

To Genxlib,

As a fellow engineer, however electrical and retired, I wish you and your fellow workers the best in trying to find the cause for the building collapse. This disaster reminds me of the Hyatt skywalk disaster in Kansas City where over 100 people lost their lives. I believe the year was 1980 and at the time it was said like you say in you post that now is the time to find survivors if any and recover and bury the dead. The lawyering, blaming and finger pointing can wait until later.
Thanks for the work you do.

Moose966

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 07:11 AM

120. Well said. When I was an ocean marine underwriter I required...

regular surveys and inspections, as did various authorities. Ships still grounded, collided, exploded or otherwise put in claims. Cargo was lost. Often lives were lost.

Every time it happened, legions of experts descended and analyzed what happened. Nobody said a word until tbe reports came in, the damage evaluated, and maybe even fault for the lawyers to play with.

We shouldn't speculate, but most of us know you will do tbe job. I was listening to BBC interviewing the rescue team, and it was brought up that this is one of the finest s&r teams in the world. That's good news.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 07:18 AM

121. Absolutely - let's get through the rescue phase and wait for the science

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 07:31 AM

122. Stay safe and thank you for all the information in this thread.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 08:53 AM

129. Wishing you and your team luck and safety

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 09:29 AM

132. Could increasing assault of king tides and sea level rise contributed to Miami condo collapse?

Could the increasing assault of king tides and sea level rise have contributed to Miami condo collapse?

Saltwater and brine-soaked air settle into the pores of coastal construction, growing a rusty crust around the steel skeletons that reinforce oceanfront structures. It weakens the bonds between metal and concrete creating cracks and crumbles in vulnerable areas.

Some building experts wondered Thursday if that kind of environmental assault supercharged by climate change could have played a role in the catastrophic collapse at the 40-year-old Champlain Towers South Condo in Surfside, Fla.

“Sea level rise does cause potential corrosion and if that was happening, it’s possible it could not handle the weight of the building,” said Zhong-Ren Peng, professor and Director of University of Florida’s International Center for Adaptation Planning and Design. “I think this could be a wakeup call for coastal developments.”

Sea level rise, the gurgle of more frequent king tide flooding, and changes in soil consistency or location are elements dealt with by any building on a barrier island.

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/story/weather/2021/06/25/could-climate-change-have-contributed-surfside-condo-collapse/7779816002/

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 11:07 AM

135. Yes

I just hope the missing people are found alive

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 01:48 PM

137. Agree with you genxlib

Good luck and stay safe.

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Response to genxlib (Original post)

Sat Jun 26, 2021, 10:37 AM

138. Kicking for visibility. nt

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