Fault line appears after heavy rainfall

By Antonio De Jesús Aguado

Last month, flooding occurred in several rural communities following especially heavy rainfall, and the earth literally broke open, leaving two rural communities without communications.

During the night of July 12, after two days of rainfall, flooding was reported in the communities of El Fraile, El Paredón and San Miguelito, where the height of water rose to between 70 centimeters and one meter. There was no major damage to houses because after a few hours the water followed its natural course. In the early morning of the next day, the Civil Protection Department received an emergency call stating that in El Fraile a huge crack “as big as the road” had appeared.

The Civil Protection Department noted that the fissure was 13 meters deep, 30 meters long and 12 meters wide. It damaged one buiding, two walls, one floor and the potable water system. According to Felipe Cohen, head of the department, they were concerned because more than 2,000 cubic meters of earth disappeared. “We do not know where it went,” he said.

Later, Civil Protection staff realized that the fault line had two branches, one leading in the direction of El Paredón that crossed the road connecting with Highway 57. This fissure had a depth of five centimeters and a width of 80, but according to the Communications and Transportation Secretariat it did not represent a risk and was fixed.

The local government asked for the help of the Mexican Geological Institute from the UNAM, who assessed that this was a fault line that starts in Taxco, and that there are underground rivers. This information was later confirmed by the Engineering, Mines and Geology Department from the Universidad de Guanajuato.

The next step is to do a risk assessment to discover the impact and prevent future accidents.


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