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