A large sinkhole that suddenly appeared Saturday in Playa del Carmen collapsed a roughly 600-meter-long section of the Playa del Carmen-Tulum federal highway, a stretch of road that will eventually be near one of the federal government’s Mayan Train routes.
It is not yet clear what caused the sinkhole, located on the southward side of the highway heading toward Tulum. Government officials have cited possible reasons, ranging from recent heavy rains in the area to the strain of heavy vehicles to the topography underneath the highway, which contains underground streams and caverns that may have contributed to weakening of the subsoil.
Two temporary lanes have been created on the highway in order to allow vehicles continued access while the Secretariat of Communications and Transport (SCT) and the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) repair the damage. The work is expected to take about five days.
According to government officials in Solidaridad — the municipality which governs the town of Playa del Carmen — the National Guard was brought in to help the municipality’s Secretariat of Public Safety and Transit personnel cordon off the affected area.
The collapse is believed to have occurred around 11 a.m. It was reported by a person who called emergency services around that time to report hearing a loud rumbling noise, Solidaridad’s Civil Protection department head Francisco Poot Kauil told the newspaper El Universal.