Central Philippines Hit By 7.2-magnitude Earthquake
A massive earthquake struck the central Philippines on October 15. The magnitude-7.2 quake was centered under the island of Bohol, where most of the damage occurred; however, the neighboring island of Cebu also reported heavy damage. At press time, authorities were attributing up to 93 deaths to the earthquake. Among the structural damage were several churches that are considered heritage sites. The quake damaged Cebu's largest hospital, mall and public market.
Economist With Ties to Housing Stats Shares Nobel Prize
Three American economists were named to share this year's Nobel prize for Economics. Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller were awarded the prize for their separate work on predicting asset prices. Among the three, Shiller is best known in the construction industry for developing the widely used Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which is a leading indicator for the strength of the residential construction market. The latest index shows home prices gaining momentum.
Medellin Tower Demo Ordered After 22-Story Neighbor Fails
Building officials in Medellin, Colombia, have ordered the razing of a high-rise apartment building adjacent to the Space complex's 22-story Tower 6, which collapsed on Oct. 12. A team of seven government agencies and CDO Constructora, which built and maintained the less-than-year-old complex, inspected the still-standing neighbor on Oct. 14 and determined damage from the collapsed tower made it unsafe. The cause of Tower 6's failure is still under study, but Medellin's emergency management agency had ordered the evacuation of its 52 families on Oct. 11, after getting complaints about cracks and other irregularities. After the collapse, the city evacuated the other five buildings. Eleven people in Tower 6 remain missing. Except for one resident, all are thought to be members of repair-work crews. No deaths have been confirmed, as recovery efforts are ongoing.
Israel Halts Materials to Gaza After Palestinian Tunnel Found
The Israeli government ordered an immediate halt of cement and other building materials to the Gaza Strip after finding a 1.7-kilometer tunnel from the Palestinian territory under the security fence into Israel. Officials had lifted the ban just last month. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said the engineering corps uncovered the tunnel openings and route. The exit was 300 meters inside Israeli territory in a field. The tunnel averaged 18 m deep and 1.8 m high. Yaalon estimated that 800 tons of poured concrete and 25,000 concrete slabs were used. Most cement in Gaza comes from Egypt through a tunnel network that has long operated between Hamas-controlled territory and Sinai. With the new ban, civilian building in Gaza may halt, observers say.
Another Fatality on Stadium Job
A worker was killed Monday morning at the Levi's Stadium site in Santa Clara, Calif., the second death in four months at the $1.3-billion project. A 61-year-old driver for Tampa-based steel subcontractor Gerdau Ameristeel was unloading a bundle of rebar at the new stadium for the San Francisco 49ers when the bundle fell and crushed him, says Cal-OSHA spokesperson Kathleen Hennessy. The worker from nearby Vacaville, Calif., whose name has not been released, was transported to the hospital and later died from his injuries. The job site was closed down for the day, according to a statement released by Johnathan Harvey, project co-director for design-builder Turner-Devcon.