Most people were killed in New York City Record-breaking storm I lived in an underground apartment this week. A wall of water slammed into their home, trapping them inside and hindering efforts to help them.
Of the 13 people known to have died in the city, 11 lived in such apartments, including a 2-year-old boy who died with his parents.
For decades, affordable home advocates have campaigned to improve the safety of basement apartments.
Executive Director of Anetta Sea Charan, Chaya, A non-profit organization that founded the Basement Apartments Safe for Everyone (Base) campaign in 2008 said the city should plan to guide landlords to align such homes with building codes.
“With climate change, we These types of floods and storms More often, “Seecharran said. “So are you going to wait for another disaster?”
There is no official number of basement apartments in New York, but Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city estimated it to be 50,000, or perhaps “substantially more.” According to a survey by the Pratt Community Development Center and Chaya, there were an estimated 114,000 underground apartments in 2009.
the same as Covid-19 PandemicAccording to Seecharran, the most endangered of the storm were immigrants, low-income people, and people of color, who make up the majority of basement apartment residents.
“Even if the basement wasn’t affected, you’re scared and wondering,’Will I come next?’” Seecharran said.
The majority of the deaths occurred in Queens, the outpost of the immigrant community.
A two-year-old boy called Anne, his mother Minma Sherpa, and his father Robsan Rama were found dead in an underground apartment. 86-year-old Yue Lian Chen died in an underground apartment. Darlene Sue, 48, was unknowingly found in a basement apartment in Queens and was sentenced to death in a hospital.
Mother and son Phamete Ramskriet (43) and Khrishah Ramskriet (22) were unconsciously discovered by divers in another building in Queens, where the walls collapsed and the basement was filled with water. My son died on the scene. His mother was sentenced to death in the hospital.
The diver was able to save the 39-year-old son of Ragenbra Shivprafab, the owner of the building who tried to save his family.
“These policemen were devoting their lives to getting them,” Shivprafab said. Told the New York Daily News.. “My son was struggling to get off. He was already in and trying to get them, and the police pulled him out. He would have died too.”
Three unidentified victims, two women and one man were found in the Queens basement on Thursday and were sentenced to death on the scene.
In Brooklyn, 66-year-old Roberto Bravo was found dead by police in response to a phone call about the flood. According to Pablo Bravo, his brother was hospitalized in Covid-19 for several weeks last year and temporarily lived in a building he owned.
“We’re talking about foreigners, immigrants, coming here to make it and living a decent life,” Bravo told The Associated Press. “Basically, we came here not only to grow ourselves, but also to contribute and grow our country.”
At a press conference on Friday, De Blasio sketched a rough outline of plans to address basement risks, such as ordering door-to-door evacuation alerts and improving the city’s mobility alert system.
In an hour on Wednesday, 3.15 inches of rain fell on Central Park. Previous record, 1.94in, and set last month.
De Blasio acknowledged that response efforts to help people in basement apartments can be complicated by language barriers and government distrust, especially for undocumented migrants. The city of De Blasio said it plans to work with a community group that could act as a “trustworthy messenger in all the right languages.”
“In this case, we are building an airplane as we go down the runway,” said De Blasio.
The plans outlined on Friday are “absolutely unrealistic,” and it’s inherently difficult to identify them and guards in an emergency, as Seacharan says basement apartments aren’t on the mainstream market. Said that.
To legally rent a basement apartment, the landlord must obtain a proof of residence and the space meets safety requirements, including windows and doors that can be opened to the outside and used to exit the space. Must be. Ceiling height must be at least 7.5 feet.
Many underground apartments do not meet these requirements and can be costly for small landlords.
In 2019, the pilot program sought a way to legalize basement apartments, but in 2020, $ 1.09 million was devoted to Covid-19’s response.
Activists have been looking for such a program for decades.
Seecharran said: “We have been facing a housing crisis for a very long time and have not done anything to increase the number of safe and affordable units online.”
Flood in New York: Call for action after 11 deaths in basement apartments | New York
Source link Flood in New York: Call for action after 11 deaths in basement apartments | New York