Correa says contractors should be punished for ‘shoddy construction’ in quake zone
President Rafael Correa announced Monday that he has asked the attorney general to identify contractors of buildings that collapsed or were severely damaged during the April 16 earthquake.
“Hundreds of lives have been lost because of shoddy construction. It is time for the builders to face the responsibility for what they did. They will be prosecuted,” Correa wrote on his Twitter account.
Correa said that new, more stringent construction standards will be established before reconstruction begins in the earthquake-ravaged area, but said many of the buildings destroyed during the recent earthquake were not built to existing specifications. “They cut corners to save a few pennies and their actions cost the lives of many people,” he said.
The government says that about 10,000 buildings have been either destroyed or irreparably damaged by the earthquake, with most of the losses coming in Manabi Province. Among the losses were hundreds of public schools, clinics and hospitals
Among the cost-saving measures the government says builders used was mixing sea sand from nearby beaches with concrete. If it is unwashed, the salt in sea sand causes the degradation of concrete and destruction of steel rebar.