Letters to the Editor

Nature’s warnings

The Philippine Star

As plans progress rapidly toward reclamations of Manila Bay’s nearshore, events continue to inform us just how dangerous doing so would be.

Nature’s most recent warning was the collapse last Thursday of part of the 12-story seaside Champlain Towers South condominium complex near Miami, Florida. Each condo was worth $600,000.

The building was built on reclaimed wetland. Clearly, its footing was not of even strength because only part of the structure gave way.

Investigations will determine how much blame, if any, can be assigned to the reclaimed site. But the failure of the structure can definitely be blamed in large part to “concrete cancer.”

All concrete is porous to some extent, and over the 40-year lifespan of the Tower, the nearshore salty air slowly soaked into the concrete and rusted the steel rebar within into fatal weakness.

Manila Bay shares the same oceanside environment.

Furthermore, exceptionally porous Pinatubo lahar sand, which makes even more cancer-prone concrete, is being used for much Metro Manila construction.

Philippine insurance community, take particular notice. – Kelvin S. Rodolfo, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago; senior research fellow, Manila Observatory

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