Firefighters, search dogs, and emergency crews have spent days scouring wreckage for survivors of a residential building that collapsed just north of Miami Beach. According to experts, climate change played a pivotal role in the building’s well-documented and overlooked deterioration.
As of now, the conclusion drawn is that the collapse may have happened due to the rising sea levels. This is not all; this may be the start of tragedies that would happen due to the changing climate and environmental changes that are happening. The Guardian also reports that this might just be the beginning of climate’s impact on infrastructure.
“Exponential Damage” was foretold by the experts after discovering “Significant cracks and breaks in the concrete” back in 2018. The seawater acted as a catalyst towards the destruction of the building. The building had already started to show signs of decay as early as 2018, and the condo was just waiting to collapse the way it did.
“When this building was designed 40 years ago, the materials used would not have been as strong against saltwater intrusion, which has the potential to corrode the concrete and steel of the foundations,” the director of the University of Florida’s International Center for Adaptation Planning and Design, Zhong-Ren Peng, told The Guardian. “Cracks in the concrete allow more seawater to get in, which causes further reactions and the spreading of cracks. So if you do not take care of it, that can cause a [structural] failure.”
The Washington Post gathered from the residents and onlookers that the building garage used to get flooded with seawater regularly. If we put things in perspective, then the garage flooded with seawater, and a damaged structure fit like a hand in glove to let us know how things went so wrong.
According to E&E News, there are plenty of other factors that may have contributed to the disastrous collapse, which officials say has resulted in about a dozen deaths and left about 150 other residents unaccounted for, according to E&E News. For example, it’s possible that the building had been gradually sinking into the ground over the years, making it increasingly unstable. But it will probably take months to have a definitive answer, E&E notes, as experts are still trying to make sense of the horrible tragedy.
More than 12 people have died in this tragedy, and another 150 are still missing. The experts note that multiple other factors might have contributed to the collapse. For example, there is a possibility that the building, over time, had been plummeting into the ground. But it will probably take months to have a definitive answer, E&E notes, as experts are still collecting evidence and analyzing the site to determine for sure what might have caused the collapse.