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Merida surveys old buildings, hoping to avoid tragedy like Progreso’s

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Merida’s historic center contains about 20,000 properties with historical value, of which between 3,000-4,000 are ruins. About a third are beyond repair. Photo: File

After a newly renovated Progreso bar partially collapsed, killing three, Merida city officials are taking a harder look at its inventory of vulnerable properties.

The director of the Governorate of the City Council, Gerardo Acevedo Macari, said the Civil Protection unit will carry out a census in the Historical Center.

Acevedo Macari told Diario de Yucatan that they will make survey all the buildings and properties’ conditions and locate the owners to authorize rescue work. Without the consent the authority can not take any action.

However, for any intervention in those old properties, they need permits from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

“The mayor has emphasized the restructuring of the Historic Center,” he said. “We have worked in some buildings and properties, but I do not have data on how many they are.”

Previously, historic buildings have collapsed, or threatened to do so, in the Centro. So far, no injuries have been reported.

Although the city intervenes, the buck stops with the property owner.

“The owners of these properties have the obligation to keep the properties in good condition so there is no problem or accident,” said Acevedo Macari.

Merida’s historic center contains about 20,000 properties with historical value, of which between 3,000-4,000 are ruins. About a third were beyond repair in a 2011 survey.

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