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Appraisal: Leaning buildings safe to live in

2009-08-25 08:58 BJT

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Residents of a community in Chengdu have been on tenterhooks in recent days, as negotiations with developers over safety and compensation issues concerning three buildings they live in drag on.

The buildings have developed enormous cracks in the walls, and two of the structures have begun leaning at alarming angles toward one another. And yet,a recent engineering appraisal has declared the buildings safe to live in.

The appraisal said some minor subsidence had occurred, and that structural distortions had been found in the balconies of two buildings. Overall, however, their safety has not been compromised,the appraisal concluded, and the fractures in the walls will not affect their weight-bearing capacity.

Such an evaluation has done little to reassure the property owners.

"Almost everyone of this building has moved out. Many people from nearby buildings have also left. How can we believe it is safe when the buildings are in this kind of state? If we don't move out, who knows what can happen next. "

"We're really frightened when it rains. And what if there is an earthquake? If we stay and something happens, the loss could be our lives. My husband and I bought this house with our life savings. We wanted a safe and happy retired life, not a slanted house with cracks. "