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Officials worry, watch aging Miyako Hospital falling apart

Date Posted: 2007-12-12

Nearly a dozen pieces of concrete slab, some weighing 14 kilograms, crashed onto the floor of Miyako Hospital last month, causing damage but no injuries.
Okinawa Prefecture’s Hospital Service Section is worried, because the next pieces of concrete could cause injuries or death, and they know it’s only a matter of time before they will, in fact, come crashing down. Miyako Hospital is old, and literally, falling apart. Eaves have fallen before, but officials say this latest spate of ceiling concrete collapse are worrisome.
“Miyako Hospital is the hospital protecting peoples’ lives,” a participant in an Okinawa Prefecture Assembly business meeting reported, “and a new hospital must be built quickly or we might have a very serious problem.” The building’s age was discussed, and notes made that the reinforced concrete has corrosion, and is expanding.
Governor Hirokazu Nakaima says “I know we have to hurry up, but in 2010 we will get subsidy money for this hospital.” He promised to think about the new facility, and “to do my best, too.” Miyako Hospital is designated a disaster hospital should a typhoon or earthquake strike. The problem is that Miyako Hospital is projected to collapse should it be in an earthquake of 6.0 or more on the seismic intensity scale.
A team of investigators studying Miyako Hospital says the facility is old, and so far has been lucky nobody’s been hurt. The hospital has an inspection score of 89.2 on a 100 point scale, meaning the hospital is coming apart more and more every day.

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