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Cracks appear on Old Quarter houses

Update: May, 21/2014 - 08:42
The project to rebuild the guest house at 13-15 Luong Ngoc Quyen Street received approval in 2001, and construction started in the middle of last year.

HA NOI (VNS) — Cracks were appearing in houses in Ha Noi's Old Quarter leading to subsidence following the demolition of a guest house located on Luong Ngoc Quyen Street, according to local authorities.

Vice Chairman of Hang Buom Ward's People's Committee, Nguyen Quyet Thang, said nine houses and a storehouse belonging to local residents had been affected.

A house at 11 Luong Ngoc Quyet Street was one of the worst affected and at high risk of collapsing at any time, he stressed.

The municipal Department of Construction planned to work with the developer of the guest house to survey seriously affected houses, and, if necessary, tear them down to ensure public safety, he said.

The project to rebuild the guest house at 13-15 Luong Ngoc Quyen Street received approval in 2001, and construction started in the middle of last year.

Shortly after the old guest house was taken down and new foundations put in place, cracks started to appear in nearby houses and they started to lean.

In a four-storey house at 11 Luong Ngoc Quyen Street, cracks measuring up to 4.2 metres have appeared, leaving the walls swollen and deformed.

Tran Thi Phuong Mai, the owner of the house, said nervously that more and more cracks were spreading throughout her house, and the corridor on the third storey had sunk on one side.

The metal roofing of the house was also damaged by concrete and broken bricks when the old guest house was torn down, she said.

"It's really annoying in the rainy season. Water from the roof poured down to the floors below and damaged the electrics. We had to cut the power on the upper storeys for safety reasons."

"Now we have been forced to rent a new place to live. Our business has fallen and we are worried that the house will collapse at any time."

According to Thang, vice chairman of the committee, Mai's house was not the worst case.

Late last year, the committee found that a storehouse located near the old guest house had separated from the adjacent building and was leaning to one side. The committee asked the developer to tear it down and pay compensation to the owner.

"The committee has asked the developer to survey the affected households, and in Mai's case, the investor and the construction department will hire a private firm to inspect the situation."

Thang said the findings would be announced after a week of inspections.

"We will ask locals to temporarily relocate if the situation becomes dangerous to their safety, and we will discuss compensation with the developers," he said. — VNS

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