New development to blame as earth opens up to swallow the mountain town
A HUGE series of cracks is threatening to sink Gaucin into the earth.
A massive hole, the size of a tennis court, has opened up on the edge of town.
Further cracks have turned into fissures and threaten to send a series of shops and houses, and even a school down the hill.
The problem, which has shut the main road between Ronda and Manilva, began after works started on a new housing development below the road.
A support wall put in by builders of the 22-home development was not strong enough to hold up the earth above.
After heavy rain two weeks ago the street above started to cave in with lampposts sinking into the ground.
Cracks soon appeared around a number of shops, and even around an agricultural store two roads above.
One house near the petrol station has found a new extension literally parted from the main house.
The cracks have now spread up from the road to other buildings, including the local school, which has 190 pupils.
Understandably anxious parents are demanding that the problem be quickly rectified if their children are not to be withdrawn from school.
Mayor Teodoro de Molino confirmed the problem. “The foundations have not been properly dug,” he said.
“In principle the technicians say the school is not threatened, but it is a big responsibility and I can understand the parents worries.”
The mayor added that the constructor was doing everything he could to rectify the situation, but the Junta was on standby to step in if needed.
Either way, he estimated that the road would be shut for at least a few months, while a detour would be worked out.