Nov 30, 2016 11:43 AM EST
Space Scientists Confirms Leaning San Francisco Tower Is Sinking Deeper
The Millennium Tower, nicknamed the Leaning Tower of San Francisco, is sinking deeper and faster according to space scientists who got their analysis from space.
According to the European Space Agency or ESA, the Millennium Tower is sinking at a steady pace and, contrary to what had been reported previously, faster than before.
Engineers had estimated that the 58-story building was sinking at a rate of one inch per year. On the other hand, data collected by the Sentinel-1 twin satellites from April 2015 to September 2016 showed that the tower had been sinking at a rate of 1.6 to 1.8 inches per year. The most recent data, however, showed that just within a 17-month period, it is sinking at 2.6 to 2.9 inches. The satellite's radar imagery was analyzed by PPO Labs and Norut, a research institute in Norway.
Prior to this, engineers at San Francisco had tunneled underground to get an explanation why the building is sinking. There have been many theories and finger pointing because of what has been happening to the tower.
Some say that it was due to the seismic activity underneath where the building stands. On the other hand, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority said that the building has inadequate foundation and that it was not anchored to a bedrock. Others blame the construction of an adjacent railway which removed ground water from under the tower causing it to sink and tilt.
Despite this, Millennium Partners, the developers of the building, said the building was erected following high standards mandated by the city and using state-of-the-art technology. They also said that the building can withstand an earthquake although they did not specify until what magnitude.
The developers are now under fire and have been the subject of lawsuit filed by owners of the units as well as other agencies.
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