Alarm raised over Rome sinkholes

Rome registers triple annual number of sinkholes already in 2018.

Rome has 32 square kilometres of underground tunnels and chasms at risk of opening up under the strain of traffic and buildings, according to the hydrographic authority of central Italy.
Calling for "urgent intervention", the head of the authority Erasmo D'Angelis warned that much of Rome is partly devoid of subsoil and that within the first five months of 2018 Rome's streets had registered 83 cases of subsidence. This figure is almost triple the average of 90 per year recorded over the last decade.
Two major sinkholes have appeared over the last six months on Via Ambrosini in Rome's southern Montagnola suburb.
D'Angelis said the risk to the stability of Rome's roads and buildings has long been widely ignored and that the extreme fragility of the city's subsoil should not be underestimated. D'Angelis said the problem was compounded by water leaks and "years of frenzied urbanisation", with high-rise building taking place where construction should have been discouraged, often without proper surveys to ascertain if the ground below was solid or empty.
A street in Rome's north-west suburb Balduina collapsed in February.
In addition to "hundreds of kilometres of roads", the warning relates to the equivalent of about 500 hectares of residential areas at risk of collapse including in the centro storico; the eastern suburbs of Tuscolano, Prenestino, Tiburtino, Centocelle and Appio; districts west of the Tiber such as Monteverde Vecchio, Gianicolense and Portuense; as well as S. Giovanni, Aventino, Palatino and Esquilino.