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Saturday, January 26, 2019

México City is Sinking

Aloha Everyone,

The alarming documented fact is Mexico City has sunk more than 32 feet in the last 60 years. When you hear that Mexico City is sinking by 3 inches every year, it is unbelievable. In some parts of the city, the sinking is 15 inches a year! One might try to dismiss the news by saying, “California will one day drop into the Pacific Ocean.”

However, we are witnessing this very alarming and distressing problem on a daily basis. We walk through uneven sidewalks and sometimes hear cracking sounds of concrete breaking.

Cause: Mexico City was built on the ancient clay bed originally founded by the Aztecs.

Mexico City’s residents annually consume nearly 287 gallons of water each. 70 percent of the water is extracted from aquifers beneath the city. Water removal and the weight of buildings causes the soil to compact. The result is caving. Since it is uneven, some buildings are starting to tilt.

You can visibly see the effect of sinking on government buildings, monuments, palaces and churches. An example is the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. They have already built a 2nd Basilica with the expectation the original will one day collapse.

Walking along the Avenida Juarez, a mere three short blocks from our AirBnB, I took photos of a now condemned, modern building. The two of us will be most interested in following the news regarding the remedies to stabilize Mexico City’s unstable ground situation. Other cities with a similar problem include Venice, Italy and Shanghai, China.

Aloha -- Cathi