Sinkhole swallows car & house in Dominican Republic district
As of Monday 11 February, the Dominican Republic’s ground continued to swallow a house on Font Bernard Street in the middle class Santo Domingo neighborhood of Los Prados, where a car fell into the hole last Friday, 8 February. Local residents and traders are worried this sinkhole will continue to expand. One case involves the Distributor of Safety and Industrial Equipment (Deinsa), which occupies the neighboring lot. Yesterday employees told El Caribe reporters that they were taking inventory before the company moved out of the area. Vehicles from the Ministry of Public Works are now blocking access to the area between Lorenzo Despradel Street and Emilio Tejada Street. They have also put in sandbags to stop water flowing into the hole if it rains. Local residents are blaming excessive construction, because local regulations stipulate that only one-story buildings should be built because of ground conditions.
The measure extends to building in the area of La Castellana and San Geronimo. Other vulnerable areas are reportedly El Millon and Ensanche Quisqueya. The explanation is that there are underground caves and the terrain is not suitable for multi-story constructions. Nonetheless, the City Hall recently authorized medium-density and constructions of up to five floors, of which several are under construction. The current situation demonstrates that the initial recommendation for single floor dwellings is still valid.