(1) I have kept any discussion about the cause(s) of the #SurfsideBuildingCollapse out of my thread of ways to help those affected. (Link below.)

Having spent the past 10 years watching hundreds of New Zealand buildings being condemned for seismic risk, I am aghast. Image
(2) Source for the above:


My other thread, free of engineering talk:

(3) I also wrote about a similar tragedy on March 15, 2018, that cost 6 lives. The collapse of the pedestrian footbridge at Florida International University in West Miami:

(4) Both cases are complex. At Surfside, many of the organizations that may be at fault are trying to front-foot the PR situation, which I think is unwise, at best. Where they are denying any foreknowledge of the risk, that will only serve to anger the community at this stage.
(5) The number of commercial buildings in NZ taken out of commission due to seismic risks identified after the 2011 earthquakes here is enormous. Probably well over 1,000 buildings. It has impacted the economy.

I predict the housing shortages in parts of the US will get worse.
(6) It is simply unconscionable for owners and managers to ignore engineering reports of this nature about a large apartment building.

Both the building itself, and the land underneath it, showed clear issues.
(7) To mitigate the risk of owners and managers doing this, government has a regulatory role in terms of public safety. I'm not going to comment at this point on whether local authorities were doing their job right, but it will need to be investigated in due course.
(8) When NZ was faced with the death of 115 people in a building collapse that should have been prevented, our building operational codes were changed. Immediately.

This meant the closure of every at-risk building, pending engineering assessment. Over time, some re-opened.
(9) It causes significant disruption to a community, and a country. But it is necessary in situations where subsequent collapses could occur at any time.

The crisis affects buildings of a similar age & construction type, & coastal areas with certain geological features.
(10) There may also be inland locations where the stability of building foundations will need to be assessed.

The potential issues associated with constructing large, heavy buildings right beside a beach are well known. Often, development has occurred at a fast pace.
(11) It will still be possible to construct such buildings near beaches, but the cost of risk assessment and mitigation will increase.

There will be homeowners and occupants whose anxiety about remaining in a building they feel is high risk means they will vacate, if they can.
(12) There will be costs and legal liability out the wazoo.

Insurance costs for all involved will increase. Taxes may have to increase. There may be temporary shortages in construction workers and engineers.

It's never a good time, but especially not now.
(13) So, we are looking at a ripple effect, from those directly affected by this particular building collapse, nearby buildings, out to the city, county & state governments, businesses, & individuals, then onto the national & international levels.

Eg, a few minutes ago: Image
(14) Now, I realize FL is not esp. earthquake prone, but plenty of places in the US are.

Los Angeles has similar geology to Christchurch, NZ, in that "liquefaction" will be a big problem in a major earthquake there.

So much work to be done.

(15) Update at 7.45pm ET:

City building officials doing just a "cursory review" of a a building is why 115 people died in New Zealand's 2011 CTV building collapse.

Stay skeptical, folks. I'd be out of North & East towers & staying out until proper assessments are done. Image
(16) We know from hurricanes and the pandemic that voluntary orders don't work. They must be mandatory.

This is so financial compensation can be triggered, and it makes it easier for families worried about a loved one's refusal to protect themselves.

Learn from NZ in 2011.
(17) I haven't explained this yet so here goes.

Two earthquakes 5 months apart brought down the CTV building. Commercial buildings that are earthquake resistant are designed to survive long enough for people to get out. Building loss after that point is expected & accepted.
(18) Every other large Christchurch building survived in terms of saving lives. Over 600 buildings were later demolished, and to this day residents of the city are not keen to use or live in buildings higher than about 3-4 stories. Fortunately there is plenty of land there.
(19) Christchurch & the province of Canterbury, NZ have the kind of fault lines that can cause #foreshock & parts of California do too.

The public didn't understand this after the foreshock on 9/4/2010, centered several miles outside of the city.

(20) Another minor earthquake on 12/26/2010. Engineers assessed the building after both events & declared it safe. However, occupants reported cracks, & tremors from passing trucks.

I think all Kiwis would like others to learn from our tragedy:

(21) When the major quake hit the downtown area on 2/22/2011 it was much worse than the Sept quake, & we knew instantly there would've been fatalities. The US sent search & rescue teams, crisis counselors, engineers, you name it. We are forever grateful.
(22) My key message is this: All buildings linked to the collapsed tower in Surfside by similar design & maintenance &/or proximity must be fully evacuated until rigorous, in-depth, on-site engineering assessments of building AND ground conditions are made, submitted & accepted.
(23) By "similar design & maintenance" I mean similar design & LACK OF maintenance, such as receiving a report like the now-public 2018 engineering report & then not telling occupants of the risk, or doing the work.

Every time you step in to a building you trust the owner.
(24) Trust me, plenty of us Christchurch quake survivors to this day point blank refuse to enter some buildings. We find another business to use or hotel to stay in.

Many Surfside survivors & families will be the same, in due course. I weep for them.

rnz.co.nz/news/national/… Image
(25) Thread #3 from me about the #SurfsideBuildingCollapse is at the link below.

No doubt there will be a Thread #4 and in the end a directory thread with links to the series. Part personal journal, stream of consciousness, and PSA.

Stay safe.

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More from @FreedomFriesInc

27 Jun
(1) #SurfsideBuildingCollapse Thread #4

Welcome to my stream of consciousness tweeting about active emergency management events. I am an EM geek with professional and (sadly) personal experience to share.

Link to earlier Surfside threads:
(2) To recap, I was in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand on 2/22/2011 when the lack of a quality engineering report killed 115 people.

An earthquake triggered the collapse BUT obvious damage from an earlier, smaller quake had been missed by local officials.
(3) This point is highly relevant to the engineering reporting process getting underway in Florida after Surfside.

Like in Christchurch, building inspectors & officials are hastily designing a reporting system that is not sufficiently geared to find which buildings are at risk.
Read 17 tweets
27 Jun
(1) Many events of the past 18 months contributed to my decision to become (proudly) #ExMAGA & #NeverTrump after >4 years in the cult. The pandemic was the main reason. 1/6 was the last straw.

Liberals have been way more reasonable toward me than MAGA folk have, as expected.
(2) The thread linked above is an example of those on the left who are reasonable and can be reasoned with.

We don't have to agree on every policy issue. We already agree on the non-negotiables, like not rioting inside the seat of the federal government, for example.
(3) Once the rampant lawlessness line was crossed in such a large scale and obviously violent way, it became impossible for me to discuss policy issues with people in the MAGA crowd. If you condone 1/6 (by trying to play it down) then we can't discuss anything. There's no point.
Read 5 tweets
27 Jun
(1) Thread: Hot air balloon fatal crash in Albuquerque, NM.

Like #Surfside, this is another disaster type about which we New Zealanders can empathize with our American brothers & sisters.

In 2012 a crash in our ballooning region took 11 lives.

(2) TIL that in the US there is insufficient safety regulation of hot air ballooning. The same problem we have here.

I think it goes without saying that drone civil aviation is under-regulated, too.

(3) If you're interested in aviation safety, read the news story above about the NZ coroner's findings. These two crashes have a few things in common. Such as trying to out-climb a power line in time. Maybe the emergency rip-out line was not used. Maybe there was panic.
Read 5 tweets
27 Jun
(1) Thread #3: Updates on the #SurfsideBuildingCollapse tragedy in Miami, Florida.

This short video gives you a snapshot into where the families are now at, approximately 60 hours post collapse:

(2) I'm writing threads about this building collapse for two reasons.

a) It's a tragedy that will likely end up with a death toll of >160 people. That puts it in the realm of Hurricane Katrina, Oklahoma city 1995 etc.

b) I have experience from a similar incident in 2011
(3) I'll add links to my earlier threads further down. For now I want to stress this point:

The community is nearing the point at which they will have to accept that their loved ones are not coming back.

No one wants to be the one to give the bad news, including me.
Read 33 tweets
26 Jun
(1) JD Vance has let slip that he is attacking Gen. Milley for his words without bothering to at least find out what they mean.

The term "white rage" made my ears prick up so I thought about the context in which he used it.

Milley was talking specifically about 1/6... Image
(2) This alleged police-assaulting defendant is Kyle Fitzsimons. He's currently held without bail, like many of the >465 charged so far.

Something tells me he won't be getting 30 months probation and a $500 fine.

seacoastonline.com/story/news/cri… Image
(3) I really wish that someone with the character and patriotism of Gen. Mark Milley had been in the role of Acting Secretary of Defense on 1/6.

Instead of this guy, who aided and abetted Trump's willful dereliction of duty that day.

Read 19 tweets
25 Jun
(1) A time of writing there are still 159 people unaccounted for at the #SurfsideBuildingCollapse in Florida.

We who were in Christchurch, NZ on 2/22/2011 have been through something similar. 115 people died in an earthquake-caused building collapse here.

We send our love.
(2) "Pancaked" was the term used to describe the collapse of the CTV (Canterbury TV) building in 2011.

We, too, kept vigil for days hoping some more people would make it out alive.

(3) In our case, the building collapsed during a Tuesday lunch hour, when some of the building's office workers had just gone out for lunch.

The earthquake caused PTSD among thousands of people, incl. me. There were 300k people in the city, & countless others closely linked. ImageImage
Read 21 tweets

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