Miami-Dade mayor says she hopes Florida building collapse is an anomaly

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The mayor of Miami-Dade County on Sunday said she is optimistic that the condo collapse in Surfside “is an anomaly” — despite experts warning of sinking issues in other areas of the city similar to what was experienced at the building.

Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said she has ordered an audit of all buildings 40 years and older under the county’s jurisdiction after the devastating deadly collapse of Champlain Towers South early Thursday.

“At this point, we’re starting with the review of those 40-plus, and you know, look, this, as far as we know and hope, is an anomaly, but the investigation is going to be ongoing,” Levine Cava said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The mayor didn’t respond directly when asked by host Chuck Todd whether the county had concerns about other buildings in the area being in danger amid reports that inspectors had detected flaws in the condo tower in the years before the collapse.

“So I’ve been speaking to my fellow mayors of cities, and we are talking about what we will do in the municipalities, as well as Miami-Dade County. And I can assure you that we’ll be taking a very aggressive look at everything,” Levine Cava responded to the question.

No cause has been identified in the condo disaster that has left at least nine dead and 156 unaccounted for, but the building was flagged as having “major structural damage” in 2018.

Experts had also warned that the condo building was sinking for years before it crumbled to the ground — and several other areas of the city have had similar subsidence issues.

Researchers Shimon Wdowinski and Simone Fiaschi said the condo building had been sinking at a rate of 1.9 mm per year from 1993 to 1999, according to a study published by the journal Ocean and Coastal Management.

Meanwhile, other nearby areas were sinking at faster rates during the same period — including the ground on Park View Island, at average rate of 2.3 mm a year, and the Flamingo/Lummus neighborhood in Miami Beach at 2.0 mm per year, the study said.

Wdowinski cautioned this week that the findings do not certainly point to the sinking being the cause of the collapse but said the rate does carry “impacts to buildings and their structures,” USA Today reported.

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