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Hurricane in Ekibastuz tears off roof of apartment building, knocks down trees 07 июля 2015, 18:43

A powerful hurricane in Ekibazstuz has torn off a roof of a five-storey building and knocked down dozens of trees.
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Photo courtesy of Talap Kapanov Photo courtesy of Talap Kapanov

Heavy winds tore off a roof of a five-storey building and knocked down several trees in Ekibastuz, a town in northeastern Kazakhstan, a Tengrinews correspondent reports. The hurricane broke out in the second half of the day on July 5.

Eyewitnesses said that there were other damaged properties in the city, such as the roof of Naryk market and advertising billboards. In addition, a dozen of trees were knocked over. One of the trees crushed a car standing nearby.

The Department of Emergency Situations (DES) said there were no casualties or injuries - a storm warning had been issued timely in the area. The wind speed made 15-20 meters per second, 25 meters per second in some places.

"Today, at 13:30, we received a message about a roof being torn off from a five-story apartment building at #147 Zhusup street. The damaged area made 300 square meters. Besides, upon falling on the ground, the roof damaged two cars parked nearby," the DES of Pavlodar Oblast reported.

The Department noted that the roof of the house was last repaired in 2012 as part of the state-run Modernization program.

Residents of the house complained to the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev believing that the collapse of the roof was not only caused by the weather conditions but also by bad quality of repairs.

There were extensive renovations of the house roof in October 2012 as part of the state program. However, it started leaking in spring the following year. After that for more than two years the residents had been filing reports and applications tried getting to get more repairs.

“Last year the wind blew a part of the roof off, it was patched, but all the other defects remained. As a result, on July 5, the roof was torn off with all its wooden structures from the second to the fifth entrance," the tenants wrote in their letter of complaint.

People also noted that they had repeatedly filed complaints about the poor quality of repairs to the city court, but all their efforts were futile. "We have appealed to all possible authorities of the city, and this is the result of their inaction right in front of us. We are asking you, dear Nursultan Nazarbayev, to take action, because the local authorities have not taken any measures," they wrote in the letter.

Meanwhile, complaints about the quality of repairs of the roof against the house builders were supported by the general contractor state-owned public enterprise EkibastuzKommunServis and the department of architecture of Ekibastuz municipal authorities.

According to experts, the repair of the roof of the house was made with deviations from design and estimate documentation. But instead of removing all the defects, Diola Ek LLP construction company that made the repairs accused the residents of the house of libel and demanded 200,000 tenge in damages through a court.

"We proved that we were not lying and won all court cases. There were flaws and the contractor should have eliminated them. But now we are left without a roof which cost us 15 million tenge," said a resident of the house Galina Terman. According to the residents, the amount was supposed to by paid by the residents of the 50-apartment building in seven years - 300,000 tenge from each apartment.

Ekibastuz akimat (municipal authorities) informed that they would deal with the restoration of the roof after the July 6 holiday. Akimat representatives visited the site and promised that a construction company would be hired to restore the roof.

By Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina

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