A bus was swallowed by a giant sinkhole in the city of Veracruz, in the Mexican state of the same name, on Friday 7 July 2017. Nobody was hurt during the incident, as the bus was parked when the sinkhole opened, but due to its large size, and the fact that it appears to be growing, at least twenty four neighbouring houses have been evacuated. Tn properties in other parts of the city have also been evacuated due to concerns about further sinkholes opening up.
Bus trapped in a sinkhole in Veracruz, Mexico, on 7 July 2017. Mexico News Daily.
Sinkholes are generally caused by water eroding soft limestone or unconsolidated deposits from beneath, causing a hole that works its way upwards and eventually opening spectacularly at the surface. Where there are unconsolidated deposits at the surface they can infill from the sides, apparently swallowing objects at the surface, including people, without trace.
The city of Veracruz is prone to sinkholes as it is located on soft limestone which is easily eroded by water; this weeks sinkholes have appeared after heavy rainfall in the area, with 125 mm falling in five hours this morning. This situation is made worse by the high level of seismic activity in Mexico, with even small tremors capable of repositioning deposits so that previously unexposed limestone layers come into contact with flowing water. In March 2016 the River Atoyac, which flows near the city, disappeared temporarily after a large sinkhole opened in its riverbed, an incident which is thought to have been triggered by a small Earthquake.
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