Tag Archives: recovering

Despite inclement weather, search teams are recovering victims more quickly now that the structure itself is no longer a threat

Despite inclement weather, search teams are recovering victims more quickly now that the structure itself is no longer a threat
Search teams have been recovering victims more quickly now that a portion of the tower that remained standing was demolished and is no longer a threat to collapse, according to Florida Fire Marshall and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis.
On Monday, a day after the demolition of the standing portion of Champlain Towers South, the death toll stood at 28. The building partially collapsed on June 24.
By Saturday morning, the toll reached 86 after more victims were recovered from the rubble, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said during a news conference.
Sixty-two of the 86 victims have been identified and 61 next of kin notified, with 211 people accounted for and 43 others potentially unaccounted for, according to the mayor.
Authorities have been cross referencing names from a list of residents with US Postal Service and driver’s license information, Levine Cava said.
“We can only truly account for a missing person who is deceased once an identification is made,” the mayor said.
Crews at the site paused their work briefly Saturday morning because of lighting, but recovery efforts resumed within an hour, Levine Cava said. The work will continue despite rain that is expected throughout the day.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department Chief Alan Cominsky said the timeline for completion of recovery efforts was 14 to 21 days.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said crews removing rubble from the recently demolished section of the building may complete their work “a lot sooner than many expected.”
Burkett described the progress in removing debris as intense, saying “much of the original pile is at ground level or below. “
The city is setting up a fund for downtown businesses affected by recovery efforts, Burkett said.
Patronis said the crews are paying the same attention to the importance of the task.
“One thing I can assure you is the dogs are still on the site. The infrared equipment is still being used. The cameras are still being used. The task forces that are here … are the same level of skills that were here with FEMA task forces,” he said. “They’re all still working. What’s happening right now is no different than five days ago.”
In an interview with CNN, Chief Nichole Notte of the Florida Task Force 2 said there has been an emotional toll for all the workers.
“I feel like I’m physically digging, but I’m also emotionally digging for more strength to continue,” she said.

Focus on the investigation

Meanwhile, officials have turned more of their attention to the investigation and to ensuring other structures in the area are safe.
Experts have already begun their investigation by examining Champlain Towers North, a sister building that is “substantially the same as the building that came down,” Burkett said.
“We have been in there several times now. We have taken out samples. We’ve done the ground-penetrating radar. We’re trying to determine the amount of steel, the thickness of the slabs, so we’re trying to compile all that information and see exactly if there is some indication of weakness,” Burkett told CNN on Friday.
“I talked to the engineer today, and he’s ready to make a determination as soon as he gets results back and let the residents of that building know whether he feels they are safe or not.”
The north towers building was evacuated for safety concerns.
Burkett said he urged other condo board members in the area to inspect their structure.
“We’ve given them a series of boxes to check in order to make sure that their buildings are as safe as they can be, given especially we don’t know why this building fell down,” Burkett said.
Patronis said that he thinks it’s important for investigators to compare North and South Champlain Towers.
“I’ve advised them to pull the minutes of Champlain Towers North board over the last 40 years and compare to the minutes of South and see if both boards have made the same investments over the last 40 years.”

More structural concerns elsewhere

Employees at a local government building have been advised to work from home for safety reasons.
All staff at the Miami-Dade County Courthouse were directed to immediately begin a work-from-home protocol on Friday following safety concerns revealed in an engineer’s report of the building, according to a statement from local officials.
The report found safety issues with various floors and recommended floors 16 and above be closed to staff while repairs are completed, Levine Cava, Circuit Court Chief Judge Nushin G. Sayfie and Clerk of Courts Harvey Ruvin said in a joint statement.
“Following this report, we are taking all necessary precautions and directing all Courthouse staff at 73 W Flagler Street to work from home beginning immediately while the repairs can be completed,” Miami-Dade officials said in the statement. “Over the last year throughout the pandemic all Courthouse staff was already working remotely and only recently returned to the building, and we are moving quickly to re-activate our remote work plan.”
Last week, residents in Crestview Towers in North Miami Beach were also asked to evacuate after a report determined the condo building was structurally and electrically unsafe based on a delinquent recertification report for the almost 50-year-old building, City Manager Arthur H. Sorey III previously said.

How the engineer is examining the building

Allyn Kilsheimer, a structural engineer hired by the town of Surfside to investigate the collapse took CNN on a tour of Champlain Tours North on Friday.
Kilsheimer said his team has been at the north tower for two days, using ground-penetrating radar to check the thickness of the concrete and collecting samples.
Kilsheimer said he has not seen anything that concerns him.
“The thing that I’m looking for is anything that would warn me … to get people out of the building,” he said. “I’ve not seen anything like that at this point in time.”
Other buildings in the area will soon receive letters from the mayor advising them to take the necessary steps to assure residents their buildings are safe, according to a copy of the letter obtained by CNN.
Regardless of the age of the building, the city is recommending the hiring of an engineer to review structural drawings and review basements, as well as a geotechnical engineer to examine the foundation.
“The recommendations are made in an abundance of caution based on the current status of the investigation,” the letter said. “They are intended to serve as an interim methodology to afford residents some peace of mind until the forensic investigation progresses further.”

'Nightmare inside a pandemic': Black fungus killer strikes down recovering Covid patients

'Nightmare inside a pandemic': Black fungus killer strikes down recovering Covid patients
The looming new health crisis has been described as “a nightmare inside a pandemic”. Indian doctors are reporting an influx in cases of mucormycosis among people recovering from Covid-19. The very rare infection, also known as the “black fungus”, is normally caused by exposure to mucor mould.
It affects the sinuses, the brain and lungs and is particularly lethal to diabetics and those with compromised immune systems.

The rise in “black fungus” infections in India is thought to be connected to the use of steroids in seriously ill Covid patients.

Certain steroids have been found to be effective in treating those with advanced Covid symptoms.

They reduce inflammation in the lungs, as well as preventing the body’s immune system from going into overdrive when fighting off the virus.

However, steroids can reduce immunity and increase blood sugar levels in both diabetics and non-diabetic Covid patients.

Doctors believe that this drop in immunity could be triggering the explosion in murcomycosis cases.

Dr Akshay Nair, a Mumbai-based eye surgeon, told the BBC’s Soutik Biswas: “Diabetes lowers the body’s immune defences, coronavirus exacerbates it, and then steroids which help fight Covid-19 act like fuel to the fire.”

He said that in April alone he had treated 40 patients suffering from the fungal infection.

READ MORE: Covid panic: Indian variant spreads across UK as cases rise

She said that most of her patients were middle-aged diabetics who developed the infection two weeks after recovering from Covid-19.

“We are already seeing two to three cases a week here,” she explained.

“It’s a nightmare inside a pandemic.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

India, China ramp up gold purchases as market starts recovering from pandemic pain

India, China ramp up gold purchases as market starts recovering from pandemic pain

The demand for physical gold increased sharply in the spring season in India, China and other Asian countries, where the precious metal’s shine is appreciated the most, Nikkei reports, citing industry data.

Statistics showed that India, one of the top gold consumers, imported 160 tons of the yellow metal in March, 5.7 times more than in the same month a year ago, when the country was under strict lockdown. Gold purchases in the country practically stopped in April and May 2020, but started growing again since the end of the year. In India, gold is a highly valued status symbol, offered at weddings and other festivities. A large part of the population keeps their savings in gold jewelry. 

Purchases of jewelry were also up in China, 2.6 times year-on-year in February, data showed. The beginning of last year saw demand in the world’s biggest gold consumer tumbling to multi-year lows, again due to the coronavirus crisis.
Also on rt.com ‘Gold symbolizes strength of the country’: Poland plans to add more bullion to its coffers
Global demand for gold dropped to its lowest levels since 2009 in the third quarter of 2020, according to World Gold Counsil data, partly driven by dwindling demand in Asia. The pandemic has forced traditional buyers to postpone purchases and investors to ditch holdings, while lockdowns have hit the jewelry market. China and India have seen a drop in demand of 25% and 48% respectively in the first three quarters of 2020.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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