It was not just garbage but also concrete that blocked a culvert that runs beneath the Cuernavaca Paso Express where a large sinkhole appeared, which confirms an earlier claim by local residents that garbage was not the main culprit.
A car plunged into the sinkhole that appeared suddenly on the highway July 12, killing both its occupants, a father and son.
Now, three weeks after the incident, workers from the Secretariat of Communication and Transportation (SCT) are still working to unblock the drain. In a meeting with authorities yesterday, residents were informed that it would be three more days until the work is completed.
Residents had advised that concrete was blocking the culvert but officials insisted it was garbage. However, it appears the SCT has found that concrete had indeed been poured in the culvert, as workers have been drilling and removing it.
An analysis by the Morelos State Water Commission found that the weight of the highway also caused subterranean drainage pipes to break, forcing water to flow via other routes, weakening the ground and creating the sinkhole. Heavy rain fell in the days preceding the tragedy.
A bridge will be built to allow a river in the area to flow more freely beneath the highway and pipes with a larger diameter will replace the damaged ones.
Meanwhile, at least seven homes were flooded in the vicinity of the sinkhole after heavy rainfall last night. Three houses in the Chipitlán neighborhood were affected as well as at least four apartments in a nearby residential complex.
Ten vehicles were also caught in the floodwaters.
“Never, in all the years of these buildings, has anything similar happened. It all comes from the work they are doing here to repair the highway, where the sinkhole opened,” said one of the most affected residents.
The flooding is attributed to the swelling of the river that passes through the Santo Cristo Ravine. The blocked drain prevented water from flowing beneath the highway and pumps that had been installed to drain it were overwhelmed.
Officials from both the SCT and the Morelos Civil Protection agency attended the affected homes where they assured concerned residents that all damage would be repaired.
It is the second time this week that flooding has affected homes in the area, from which some residents were evacuated after a similar incident on Monday. They say they will remain in hotels until the drains have been repaired.
Since the sinkhole tragedy, residents have been fearful that a second disaster such as another sinkhole or a structural collapse could occur and have urged authorities to repair the stretch of road.
Last night’s heavy rain and flooding forced the closure of one stretch of the highway late last night although authorities reported that two lanes in both directions reopened shortly before 5:00am.
Source: Reforma (sp)