The demolition of earthquake-damaged buildings in Mexico City began yesterday, a process that could take up to a year.
The order to tear down the first 13 buildings, all of which are under 10 storeys, was given yesterday by the administration of Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera.
The Secretary of Public Works and Services (Sobse) explained that the demolition process “will be done virtually by hand” in an effort to guarantee the safety of the workers, nearby pedestrians and the buildings surrounding the demolition sites.
Interior Secretary Patricia Mercado Castro said that where possible homeowners will be able to retrieve their belongings from the condemned buildings.
A specialized team will then assess from topographical and engineering standpoints the best way to go about tearing the structures down. Workers will then remove objects such as windows and furnishing before disconnecting power and natural gas lines.
At that point heavy machinery will be brought in to remove individual slabs of concrete, beams, walls and columns until the complete dismantling of the structure is accomplished.
The debris will be transported to an authorized dump site.
Tungüí said he expects the demolition work to be completed within a year. He also said the work will generate as little dust as possible. “What we’re looking for is to create the least possible annoyance.”
Mexico City authorities are assessing close to 1,000 buildings to determine if demolition is required.