Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Danger in Surfers paradise.
Danger at Surfers paradise: Second day.
This morning we decided to go shopping and stock up with food for the rest of the week that we could easily prepare for ourselves, mainly breakfasts and lunches as we had already discovered the RSL (Returned Serviceman’s League} Club across the street where meals are very reasonable and very good.
So, loaded up with big bags of goodies from the supermarket we headed back to the Islander apartment. We ran into the Manager of the building standing at the base of the Backpacker’s part of the building with his arms out stretched around the corner of the 12 story brick building sort of holding it up and stopping it falling on anybody! He said ‘Go back. Go back. Cross over the street and walk that way, there are issues here. It could be catastrophic just catastrophic, the whole building could fall into the street any moment’ He was panicking big time.
( If you look just above the man in the white shirt, there is a white sign on the wall, the bulge goes right through the sign, on the black part of the wall, it can be seen if you enlarge this photo. Top photo shows the appartment block we were on the 8th floor of and the Vegas in Paradise gambling rooms I frequented sometimes.)
Far too curious about what was wrong to heed his advice we demanded to know what was the problem, so he showed us where the wall was starting to bulge along the front. The bulge can be seen in my photo if you know where to look but it is hard to spot. Having seen the bulge we walked smartly across the road and into our part of the building, wondering about how safe we might actually be should that wall crash into the street. Soon after a few road cones were placed across the pavement to stop people walking past, but the road was not closed to traffic.
The next day we went to observe how the bulge in the wall was. By now the bulge how grown and several bricks had broken along the line of the bulge, a few more road cones appeared on the pavement, but back packers living in the building were not evacuated.
We watched from a safe distance how this wall slowly became worse over the days, til finally on the 5th day after the bulge started four Police cars arrived with lights and sirens blaring to block of the busy street. They stayed all day and all night before they were replaced with other security people to guard the area and keep sightseers away. A very big crane arrived that could reach right to the top of the building, it had a big red basket on wires within which a group of building inspectors were carried up to the top to inspect how much damage had been done. They checked extremely well every brick, virtually, while they were deciding how to approach the fixing of the problem.
The news and TV men arrived to watch all the action and report upon it, the papers and TV were full of it that evening.
It appears that the damage was only in the three foot strip across the wall that we could see, and maybe lower down too. Subsidence had occurred beneath the corner of the building where a stream used to flow, years ago, very heavy rain had fall over the previous month and the area had scoured out. The inspectors decided to pin most of the brick to the concrete backing then slowly remove all the broken bricks and replace them. Ofcause they will have to fill in the subsidence beneath the building too, but I am not sure how this will be done or how it will be stopped from happening again.
We were absolutely safe at all times, but I quickly got online to leave messages on my facebook page to let family in Australia and back home that all was ok with us.