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Giant sinkhole in Guatemala

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All of us have heard of earthquakes cyclones, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Ever heard of a sinkhole? Well, there was one in Guatemala City (capital of Guatemala – Central America’s largest and most populated country) last Friday. After having experienced rumbles for weeks, a part of a Guatemala City neighborhood plunged almost 30 stories into the Earth, and in the process claimed 3 lives. The victims were a man and his 2 sons. The sons’ bodies were found floating in the sewage whereas the father’s body was pulled from the chasm. The sinkhole measuring around 330 feet (100 meters deep) also swallowed about a dozen homes.

Guatemalan officials said that the sinkhole may have been caused because of rainstorms and also a broken sewer main. Sinkholes are believed to be caused when underground rocks that can be dissolved by water (e.g., salt, gypsum, and limestone) get inundated and there is not enough support for the land above. Sinkholes can also get created due to removal of groundwater. Authorities in India better beware! In India, there have been repeated reports about groundwater management being not up to the mark.

After this happening, police in the city have cordoned off the area 500 yards (457 meters) around the sinkhole.

The giant sinkhole has terrorized residents around the area. Fifty-year old Antonio Fuentes who has been living for 15 years in this ill-fated neighborhood told the Associated Press:

Now I’m leaving for good, never to come back.

In the past, sinkhole damages have known to have occurred in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania (see).

Via: National Geographic