Miami Beach Condo Building Evacuated Near Deadly Collapse

Melissa Berthier, the representative of Miami Beach, mentioned in an email that on Thursday evening, the city issued a notice regarding the unsafe condition of the Port Royale condominium.

The structural engineering report stated that additional structural supports may require maintenance, and it also mentioned that the crack in the beam had widened. Furthermore, the report highlighted that the main support beam, which was identified for repair 10 months ago, had moved. As a result, the 164-unit structure, currently undergoing a mandatory recertification process, had to be evacuated.

Marash Markaj, a resident renovation contractor who resided in the building for over six years, stated that the harm goes beyond only one supporting beam.

Markaj informed The Associated Press, “I have witnessed the problems for numerous years.” He mentioned that he attempted to notify the problems to the management of the building and to the building department of the city, which included fissures in a pillar and stagnant water in the garage area for extended periods.

He stated, “I was never capable of receiving a reply,” while also mentioning that he felt “insecure” residing in the structure and with the manner in which the structure’s upkeep was managed.

Inc. Engineers Inspection mentioned in a correspondence to the municipality that they are in the process of acquiring a city authorization to install “thorough bracing” within a span of 10 days. Subsequently, there will be a subsequent examination of the structure, which was built in 1971.

Engineers stated that in an email addressed to the Miami Beach Building Department, Arshad Vioar mentioned that “issues of interest that we identified as a top priority for restoration” were discovered during an inspection approximately 10 months ago.

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The building’s association selected a contractor to start repairs about four weeks ago, and this week, the building inspection firm was asked to supervise the work. They noticed that one of the main beams in the garage had an existing crack that was marked as extended and also had approximately a 1 ½ inch deflection, which was a structural issue.

She said that she had gone to stay with her daughter, who had lived in the building for 15 years and had now gone for a few weeks to work on something that had changed on Thursday.

“There seemed to be something more grave, so we had to abruptly depart,” Flores stated.

Officials in Miami Beach said that condo owners who rented out their units were under the hook for temporary housing cover for up to three months, until the building was habitable again, in accordance with local laws.

The residents, including Samy Bosch who had been living in the building for nine years, stated that they were informed with very short notice to vacate the premises by 5 p.M. On Thursday, whereas they were initially instructed to move out by 7 p.M.

Bosch said, “We don’t know exactly what’s going on inside there, but we can’t stay. As he returned to observe the scene on Friday morning.”

In a collapse that occurred in June 2021, a total of 98 individuals lost their lives in Surfside, Florida. This incident took place on Collins Avenue, in close proximity to the Port Royale, which is situated approximately 1.3 miles (2 kilometers) south of the Champlain Towers South condominium building.

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Search teams from both local and international locations, including rescue crews from the U.S., Are aiding Israel in their efforts to locate victims. The Surfside condo building, which is a 12-story oceanfront property, witnessed the largest non-hurricane emergency response in Florida’s history, following the tragic disaster.

Since the collapse in Surfside, other structures in South Florida have also been cleared out due to comparable safety worries.

The state has moved to strengthen laws requiring periodic recertification and inspections of buildings, especially aging condominium towers along its coastlines, with a particular focus on scrutinizing the structural integrity of these towers to prevent disasters.

Miami-Dade County had only required the first recertification of the Surfside building 40 years after it collapsed while the recertification process was undergoing.

If buildings are within 3 miles (5 kilometers) of the coast, they will require recertification every 10 years and, after 30 years, they must adhere to the new state rules signed into law.

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