Residents of the one-time Sa Nostra Bank headquarters, a building right by where the huge sinkhole on Palma's Avenidas emerged last Monday, had notified the Emaya municipal services agency of a water leak in the building's car park a week before the incident. A jet of water had appeared on the fourth floor of the garage and some twenty cars were removed as a precaution from both the fourth and the third floors.
Emaya technicians assessed the loss of water, initially believing that it was related to a broken pipe in the Plaça Espanya area. But after repair work was carried out, water continued to come out of the wall. Further assessment was made, while pumps were used to prevent the garage from flooding.
The residents are clear in feeling that the leak was directly related to the sinkhole, as the jet of water in the car park stopped when the road subsided. They believe that it was a longstanding problem that the Storm Juliette rain exacerbated and caused the sinkhole.
Emaya say that the leak was being investigated and add that various leaks are detected each day in Palma which do not result in the collapse of pavements or roads. "There was nothing to indicate that it was going to end the way it did."
The Arca heritage association has meanwhile called for greater "archaeological control". Referring to the sixteenth-century bastion that was exposed by the sinkhole, the association says that had it been in another place it could have been preserved. "Instead, it can only be covered up. Future generations will decide."
Work is continuing on repairing the road.
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