Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — More than 120 residents of an old apartment building in HCM City’s District 1 were urgently evacuated on Wednesday night after it was determined that the building could collapse at any time.
This decision was made after the local government held an emergency meeting with the residents on Wednesday evening in order to ensure people’s safety, Lao Động (Labour) newspaper reported.
Construction started on apartment building E at No 518 Võ Văn Kiệt Street in 1996 and it was completed in 1999. Thirty-eight families are living there.
A city Construction Department inspection showed the building is leaning 45cm and could collapse without warning.
The building management board and residents had repeatedly reported the problem to local authorities, but it has not yet been resolved.
The Construction Department has conducted many inspections since September but there is no any specific plan for repairs.
Many residents said they were surprised when they received the notice of relocation. However, they also agreed with the results of the agency’s inspection.
Đoàn Ngọc Hải, vice chairman of the District 1 People’s Committee, said the 38 households will be relocated to apartments in the districts 1, 4, Bình Thạnh and Bình Chánh.
On Thursday morning, local authorities helped people transport their belongings to their new residences.
According to Hải, there are two options to deal with the leaning building.
The first option is to repair the building. It would takes about six months, but safety would not be assured because of the substandard foundation. The second is to build a new one, but it would take at least a year and a half to complete.
Hải said the local government will hold talks with district and city leaders to find a solution.
Chương Dương primary school next to the apartment building was also forced to stop operating and will be relocated for safety. — VNS