Hundreds of old homes in downtown Lima at risk of collapsing

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On Monday the second floor of an old building in downtown Lima collapsed, highlighting the rundown state of hundreds of old casonas in the Peruvian capital.

The building, made of adobe and wood, housed a restaurant on the first floor, and had been poorly maintained. According to El Comercio, the collapse left Teofilo López Alejo, 38, trapped inside the building. He was rescued by firefighters, and was treated for minor injuries.

The incident has brought attention to the poorly maintained casonas, which are at risk.

David Lambarri, head of the country’s colonial heritage agency, said that as of 2010, there are 171 officially designated landmark buildings, which were at risk of collapsing.

Furthermore, the structures of at least 40.2 percent of the 523 historical houses — mostly made from adobe — are at risk of crumbling at any time, the daily said.

According to Lambarri, private ownership prevents the government from interfering in restoration of the houses. "The ministry does not intervene in private ownership,” he said.

“[These homes] are mostly inhabited by squatters. This prevents investment because this would not favor the owners,” he said.

On Monday the second floor of an old building in downtown Lima collapsed, highlighting the rundown state of hundreds of old casonas in the Peruvian capital.

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