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Concrete barrier crumbles, residents fear houses will follow

Date Posted: 1998-03-20

A wall of concrete used as a barrier to hold back a cliff-side crumbled Sunday in Makiminato, Urasoe. No one was injured in the incident, but local residents were angered after a company refused to accept responsibility for the circumstances leading up to the near-tragedy.

A local driving school recently began expanding a road beneath the cliff for a number of reasons, including allowing construction equipment to move freely on the road and to make more room for students learning to drive. Two homes and three apartment buildings sit atop the cliff above the school and the thirteen residents are afraid their residences are in danger of tumbling off the cliff. The barrier, 3.3 meters long, is used for protection against erosion.

The school has refused to end or even postpone the expansion project and the president of the driving school stated his lawyer is handling the issue and he doesnŐt know what might be occurring. The basic construction work was finished and he does not feel the expansion is related to the crumbling of the wall.

Residents, however, have complained to the school and recently sent representatives and reports to the Naha City court house to appeal for protection of their homes and lives before the danger grows. The court is still in session and has yet to issue a statement regarding this situation.

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