Tunnels under Rome could pose a potential threat to the current safety of the historic city, as a possible cave in of these past tunnels and quarries might pose a dangerous collapse. To help prevent this disaster from happening, geologists and geographic experts are working underneath Rome to provide an extensive mapping of the city in an effort to prevent the danger, NBC confirms this Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013.
The tunnels under Rome are now little more than ruins, but nonetheless a still existing maze of ancient passageways that reveal the very starting points of the well-known city. Hopefully, say geologists, a mapped network of these old passageways will help alert them to possible sinking or collapse sites, and deter major contemporary structures from caving in to join the remnants below.
In 2011 alone, 44 accounted incidents of building and streets falling apart into the quarries and tunnels deep beneath Rome were reported, and that number rose to 83 this 2013. In order to help predict and in turn prevent these frightening and sometimes deadly collapses, George Mason University experts and geoscientists are banding together with other research leaders to map the highest-risk areas of the quarry system.
This mapping of the tunnels under Rome is imperative to prevention because, as one geoscientist states, Roman citizens have since begun attempted patching the quarry systems through their own means.
"The most common way is to take some big plastic bags and fill them with cement and stick them in the holes," she said. "It can be dangerous."
A combination of Mother Nature, human progress, and time eventually led to the degrading and ultimate collapse of some of these tunnels under Rome, and it is the hope through this mapping project that Roman citizens will be made safer and more alert of the locations where a cave in threat might occur in the future.