MIAMI BEACH (AP) — An evacuation order has forced out residents of a 14-story oceanfront building in Miami Beach, on the same avenue where a condominium collapse in Surfside killed nearly 100 people last year.
The order came Thursday evening after engineers determined the Port Royale building is unsafe.
They discovered that a main concrete beam supporting the 50-year-old building has shifted and a crack in the beam has grown bigger.
Miami Beach spokesperson Melissa Berthier says a structural engineering report prompted the evacuation of all 164 units at the building, which is undergoing a required safety recertification.
Engineers on Thursday sent a letter to Miami Beach building official Ana Salgueiro, saying they advised building residents to “evacuate immediately” because the damaged concrete beam “might support the entire building structure,” the Miami Herald reported.
But the engineering team from Inspection Engineers Inc. did specify that their conclusion was based on visual observations, according to the newspaper.
Coastal cities in South Florida have worked to bolster their review and inspection of mid- and high-rise buildings in the wake of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South on June 24, 2021 shortly before 1:30 a.m.
That 12-story tower in Surfside collapsed, killing nearly 100 people and injuring over a dozen others.
Officials have said the long-term degradation of a concrete structural support in an underground parking garage was linked to the accident.