Articles | Volume 372
Proc. IAHS, 372, 151–155, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/piahs-372-151-2015
Proc. IAHS, 372, 151–155, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/piahs-372-151-2015

  12 Nov 2015

12 Nov 2015

Subsidence at the "Trébol" of Quito, Ecuador: an indicator for future disasters?

T. Toulkeridis1, D. Simón Baile1, F. Rodríguez1, R. Salazar Martínez1, N. Arias Jiménez2, and D. Carreon Freyre3 T. Toulkeridis et al.
  • 1Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPE, Sangolquí, Ecuador
  • 2Empresa Metropolitana de Alcantarrillado y Agua Potable de Quito, Quito, Ecuador
  • 3Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Queretaro, Mexico

Abstract. A sinkhole of great proportions was produced in one of the most trafficked zones of Quito. Constructed in the late sixties, this area is of high importance in solving the traffic jams of the capital city. The sinkhole called "El Trebol" started to be generated in the form of a crater, reached finally dimensions of approximately 120 m in diameter and some 40 m of depth, where at its base the river Machangara appeared. The generation of this sinkhole paralyzed the traffic of the south-central part of the city for the following weeks and therefore the state of emergency was declared. Soon the cause of the sinkhole was encountered being the result of the lack of monitoring of the older subterranean sewer system where for a length of some 20 m the concrete tunnel that canalized the flow of the river collapsed generating the disaster. The collapse of this tunnel resulted from the presence of a high amount of trash floating through the tunnel and scratching its top part until the concrete was worn away leaving behind the sinkhole and the fear of recurrence in populated areas. The financial aspects of direct and indirect damage are emphasized.

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Short summary
Sinkholes in any areas may result deadly or costly. A sinkhole happen to be in a highly trafficked area in Quito, Ecuador. Besides the problems and additional costs of repair, we have found out during our study, that the costs of the people who had to pass this area had to pay much more than the "simple" reconstruction costs. A critical look on historic sinkholes in the central part of the city of Quito, allowed us to identify even huger problems to come in important areas of Quito.