The Sánchez Xalamihua family outside their new house. The Sánchez Xalamihua family outside their new house. Instagram @Bienestar_Pue

Family that lost their home to massive Puebla sinkhole gets a new house

Now all they need is furniture and a sewage connection

A family whose home was swallowed by a sinkhole that appeared on their Puebla property last year now has a new house.

The Puebla government spent just under 870,000 pesos (US $43,750) to build a new house for the Sánchez Xalamihua family in Juan C. Bonilla, the same municipality where the sinkhole appeared and grew to almost 130 meters in diameter.

The family received the keys to their new 120-square-meter home on Monday, which was coincidentally the eldest daughter’s 14th birthday.

The Puebla Welfare Ministry announced on Twitter that it handed the house over to the family on the instructions of Governor Miguel Barbosa. The family now has an asset for their children, it said.

The municipality covered the family’s rent while they were waiting for the new home to be built.

The residence is just over half the size of the family’s previous house, which they built themselves. It is not yet connected to the sewage system and lacks access to other public services, but the family nevertheless said that were happy with their new abode.

“The truth is I’m very happy [to be here] with my children,” Magdalena Xalamihua told Imagen Televisión.

“Now we have to work to furnish it,” said Heriberto Sanchez, her husband.

Jonathan Sánchez, the couple’s son, recalled feeling sad when his family lost its home to the sinkhole, which appeared almost a year ago. He said his father had no money at the time and the family didn’t know where they would live.

The sinkhole devoured most of the family’s home about two weeks after it appeared. Two dogs fell into it before that but were subsequently rescued.

One study blamed a massive exploitation of water for the appearance of the sinkhole, but an earlier study by the National Water Commission decided that the most likely cause was the dissolution of calcareous rocks, such as limestone or dolostone.

With reports from El Universal and Excélsior

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