Puerto Aventuras, Q.R. — UPDATED: A sinkhole has been reported along the Tulum-Playa del Carmen highway near Xpu-Ha at Puerto Aventuras. Police and elements of Civil Protection have been on scene since 1:00 p.m. Saturday when the report of an explosion was made to authorities.
A member of Civil Protection who is at the scene said “Someone reported a large explosion which turned out to be a break, sinkhole under the road.”
When officials arrived, they found a large section of the highway had collapsed, which they say, is likely caused from the underground river and cenote systems. “You can see that it covers around 50 square meters or more,” Civil Protection added while documenting the magnitude of the damage. He said that it is possible a cavern covers the federal highway from side to side. On scene officials continue to investigate.
In a brief statement, the Secretaría de Comunicaciones and Transportes (SCT) said for the time being, a lane of highway has been shut while they review damage.
In 2015, a similar sinkhole was reported in the same area.
UPDATE: On Sunday, a group of cavers explored the underground area, locating an aquifer. The group have constructed an underground map, which will be used during the highway repair. This same section of roadway is also earmarked for the eventual construction of the Maya Train.
Francisco Poot Kauil, head of Civil Protection in the municipality of Solidaridad says the hole covers an area of 600 meters and is still at risk of additional collapse. He says it will take them at least five days to repair the highway.