Is Mexico City in danger of literally falling into the ground? MEXICO CITY-As if life-threatening pollution, hours-long traffic jams and kidnappings weren't bad enough, Mexico City residents now have to worry about the earth opening up and swallowing them.
As the summer rainy season hits, concern is growing that hundreds of cracks, holes and fractures that line this city could open up with disasterous consequences in a metropolitan area of 20 million people.
The fear became a reality this month in a Mexico City slum when heavy rainfall ruptured a fissure in the street, swallowing a car and an onlooker, who was killed when he tumbled into the muddy depths more than 60 feet below.
Mexico City's latest urban ill stems from its geography and history. Built on a drained lake bed after the Spanish destroyed the Venice-like city of Tenochtitian, Mexico City has been sinking steadily for centuries, falling the equivalent of a three-story building since 1900. Considering its politics, I'm surprised the city wasn't swallowed up by a black hole long ago.