Saturday, August 6, 2011

Story-A-Day #268: Sinkholes


In Northern Ontario, sinkholes were no big deal. They were more of a washout from heavy rains than anything else. They were a nuisance, but we would fill them in and move on. No sweat.

When we first moved down to Mexico, we learned just how substantial and dangerous a sinkhole could be. After just eight weeks, we lost our neighbors.


There was a rumble in the night, like a distant car wreck, and when we woke, it seemed like all was well. It wasn't until we went to go to the market that we discovered our neighbors' home had been replaced by a perfectly cylindrical shaft.

My wife wasn't interested but I took a peek down that gaping maw while she called the authorities. You know what I saw? The shattered remains of a home and the eight lives that called it so, half submerged in water about 15 meters down the smooth walled well.

I know. It's crazy right? An entire family just swallowed whole.

It happens all the time down here. Sometimes an entire intersection will collapse into a dark void. One of the most recent incidences I have heard of was a woman not too far from where we live who woke up to a sound similar to the one we heard. In her case though, it was a cannonball sized shaft that opened beneath the bed in which she had been sleeping.

They say it's because of the porous limestone that makes up much of Mexico's landmass. What I would like to know is what will happen if this continues. Will this joyous country eventually disappear into itself? Will anyone notice if it does?

What will the reaction be when a towering resort block disappears into the bowels of Central America? I'm afraid that will be the incident that people finally notice.

We are not going to leave. The wife talked about it for a bit after the neighbors disappeared, but I finally convinces her that it is better to disappear in an instant, than to be slowly buried in another Northern Ontario winter.

We're sipping margaritas on the beach right now and I know she agrees.

A sudden tremor in the ground casts a black cloud across her face, but we're still here and so is the beach.

That's good enough for me.

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