A poorly designed concrete wall in the Dominican Republic’s capital, Santo Domingo, collapsed over the weekend during heavy rains, resulting in the death of nine individuals. Experts have criticized the government for neglecting warnings issued over 20 years ago regarding the wall’s structural flaws and the lack of effort to address them. Civil engineer Cristian Rojas explained that the wall lacked anchors, which ultimately led to its collapse when combined with the force of the flooded adjacent avenue. Geologist Osiris de Léon recalled that warnings about the wall were initially raised in December 1999. The collapse occurred on Saturday, crushing cars and their occupants along the heavily trafficked 27 of February Avenue. Among the victims were Puerto Rico prosecutor Michael Orozco, his pregnant wife, María Nereida Martínez, and his in-laws. Dominican Police Gen. Eduardo Cabrera Castillo was also among those killed. The government’s Ministry of Public Works spokesperson, Andrés Matos, denied accusations of improper maintenance and stated that a thorough investigation is underway to determine the exact causes of the collapse. The incident took place as a tropical disturbance passed through the western Caribbean, causing heavy rains and resulting in at least 24 deaths in the Dominican Republic. Additionally, neighboring Haiti reported two fatalities due to floodwaters.
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