The Gates Of Hell Just Opened In Guatemala

"This can't be real" was my first thought. Then I checked the source: the Guatemalan government. This sinkhole appeared last sunday in a street intersection of Ciudad de Guatemala. Just looking at the photo gives me vertigo. Updated.

A sinkhole is a natural depression caused by the removal of underground soil by water. Usually, it happens when the substrate is formed by limestone, carbonate rock, salt beds or any other rock that is easily eroded by water streams. The process could be slow, but sometimes the land just cracks open without notice. In this case, it happened suddenly, swallowing an entire house. The cause: Massive underground water torrents created by tropical storm Agatha.

Sinkholes' size ranges from low terrain depressions to hundred of metres. Unlike the similar sinkhole that killed two teens in 2007, there seems to be no victims. At least one local newspaper is reporting one person dead, but the authorities have not confirmed it. Some neighbours claim that a whole three-storey building and a house fell into the hole.

Judging by the picture above, it seems like at least the last part is true. [Flickr via Boing Boing]

Photo by Paulo Raquec

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