The community of Tierra Amarilla, in the Atacama Desert, in Chile, has been on alert since the weekend, when a gigantic hole, 32 meters in diameter and 64 meters deep, appeared in the vicinity of a mineral extraction area called Alcaparrosa. , which is part of the Candelária mine.
“On Saturday we received a complaint from the citizens of the community about a sinkhole that would have occurred here in our community,” said the mayor of Tierra Amarilla, Cristóbal Zúñiga, in an interview published on his Facebook profile.
“We are concerned, as it is a fear that we have always had as a community, the fact that we are surrounded by mining deposits and underground works under our community,” he added.
The presidential delegate of the Atacama Region, Gerardo Tapia, instructed Sernageomin (National Geology and Mining Service) to carry out an on-site review.
The crater’s depth, 64 meters, is equivalent to the height of a 26-story building. And its location is 600 meters away from the town of Tierra Amarilla
Technicians from Seremi (Secretary of the Ministerial Region) of Mining of the Atacama Region, were on site to inspect the hole and stated that there is no harm to people living in the community. They said they will continue to monitor the situation.
Yesterday, Sernageomin ordered the closure of the mine accesses to the work located vertically to the tunnel.
At the moment, the origin of the phenomenon is unknown. But the mayor warned that the crater “is still active” and continues to grow towards homes. “We want to clarify why this event occurred, if the collapse is caused by mining activity or if it is of another nature,” he said.
“We will go to the extreme as a municipality to protect our community and end once and for all with these abuses and the excessive contamination of these mining companies”, declared Zúñiga, saying that what happened in Tierra Amarilla would be proof that the mining companies , when they submit their requests for environmental licensing, they are not clear about the impacts of their activities.