Gigantic cave in beneath ancient church, homes... Sept 24, 2009 12:27:47 GMT -5
Post by NeandertalMan on Sept 24, 2009 12:27:47 GMT -5
Gigantic cave in beneath ancient church, homes in historic center of Naples
A little after four o'clock in the morning while families slept, the water soaked soft soil beneath an area in the historic center of Naples gave way creating three distinct, huge sinkholes caving in roadways and foundations beneath buildings in the area. One gigantic hole some 40 feet across left a frightening spectacle in the very center of the ornate Baroque church, San Carlo alle Mortelle which is situated on the slopes above the city and dates from the early 1600's. The church and tightly packed multi-story apartment buildings sit above numerous underground sandstone quarries, reservoirs and the ancient Carmignano aqueduct all some 50 to 60 meters (160-200 feet) below. We are not familiar with the underground of this area other than two small tunnels that connect to the Carmignano aqueduct which dates from the 1700's. The entire area has been closed off and some 50 families, a total of 297 people have been relocated to temporary shelters while emergency workers and engineers evaluate the size and seriousness of the problem.
One family living in a building beneath which part of the foundation gave way was rescued by firemen from an upper area of their apartment. Photos in the links below show how entire sections of kitchen floor are now huge deep, open holes. The combination landslide and washout follows two days of intense rain and water runoff down the slopes of this part of the city. Storm water runoff frequently creates more pressure than the old sewer pipes can handle and they rupture, washing out loose soil and loose pozzolana sub-stratas creating the all too frequent "Voragines" or sinkholes. The Wikimap link to the church above will help you locate the disaster scene, and links to dramatic news photos can be seen HERE and HERE.
by Napoli Underground