Nota: Este contenido tiene una versión original en español

With the deepening of the studies, it was determined that the Santa Maria Zacatepec sinkhole, in Juan C. Bonilla; was due to natural causes and human activity.

According to the results of the climatological, hydro geochemical and soil mechanics studies; presented by the Government of the State of Puebla, the formation of the sinkhole was derived from natural causes and increased by the water extraction in the aquifer of the Valley of Puebla, which intensified in the last 15 years.

Beatriz Manrique Guevara, Secretary of Environment, Sustainable Development and Land Management (SMADSOT) explained that, the process that derived the sinkhole was:

"The removal of fine sediments, i.e., silts, which are the ones that cohesive the earth, are the ones that generated individual voids and subsequently communicated generating a large void and this collapse."

That is, derived from a natural process of dissolution of rocks and the loss of silt, which is an element that keeps the earth compressed; they were generating small voids that, at one point came together and created a larger one, until the sinkhole that we currently know was opened.

They also reported that the characteristics of the sinkhole have not changed much, which are:

  • 123x126 meters perimeter
  • It is cone-shaped
  • There is water at the bottom with two meters deep at the shore and extends in the center
  • There is water at the bottom with two meters deep at the shore and extends in the center
  • The water is "healthy", as it is within the permissible limits established by NOM 127.

Danger in the surrounding areas

In the studies of the surrounding areas, they show that the land is unstable and the causes that provoked the current sinkhole, could be replicated in some other point of the agricultural zone.

Beatriz Manrique commented that 14 points were detected with very little compression (i.e., vulnerable) but only two cavities have been detected: to the northwest and southwest. These have measurements of between 5 and 10 meters and with a depth of 50 meters.

Safety perimeter of the sinkhole in the community of Santa María Zacatepec
(Photo: Juan Carlos Sánchez Díaz / Express Media)

The recommendation is to extend the safety perimeter to the northwest because of the cavity found on that side, it is outside the current perimeter. They are looking to expand it by 2.5 hectares.

In addition, they invited the inhabitants not to approach or carry heavy machinery, as everything can be risky.

Translation done by: Karla Giselle Bonales Ramírez