CANAL ZONE: Danger: Falling Rock

The most spectacular moment of a transit of the Panama Canal's great Gaillard Cut is the passage below Contractor's Hill, whose sheer rock face, blasted off to make the waterway, rises above ships' decks for 300 ft. Last week it was learned that some or all of this rock face is in danger of toppling into the canal and blocking it. perhaps for months.

Landslides are nothing new for the Panama Canal. Because early geologists designed banks that were too steep, mudflows began even while the canal was being dug. Before stability was...

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