(CNN) –– Water levels at a mine in Coahuila, Mexico, where 10 miners have been trapped since early August, rose again after a sudden influx on Sunday, Laura Velázquez, National Civil Protection Coordinator, reported Monday. Velázquez explained in a daily press conference that the situation further delays efforts to rescue workers from the El Pinabete mine.
Previously, near the beginning of the rescue work, the depth of the water in the multiple flooded mine shafts reached 41.47 meters, according to the coordinator. However, that figure dropped to about 10 feet after nearly two weeks of drainage efforts, she added.
But this Sunday, the influx of water from a broken tunnel at the much larger nearby Conchas Norte mine caused levels to rise again, he said.
“The mine shafts were affected yesterday [domingo] at approximately 5:45 am due to a sudden entry of water from the Conchas Norte mine, due to the possible exit of water accumulated in a tunnel. Since then, the levels have increased in the wells of the El Pinabete mine,” Velásquez said.
“Mr. President, at 04:00 am we had 1.30 meters of water level and we were preparing to enter through well 2. But the entry made the whole plan stop and give way to another,” Velásquez told the president of Mexico. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
According to Velásquez, current water levels at the El Pinabete mine are 38.49 meters in well number two, 41.01 meters in well number three, and 38.15 meters in well number four.
Civil Protection said specialists determined that the flooding at the El Pinabete mine was due to the rupture of an underground tunnel in nearby Conchas Norte, which was closed almost 30 years ago due to flooding there.
“This mine stopped operating in 1996 due to a flood. Water has been accumulating for 28 years,” he said.