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200 Foot Guatemala Sinkhole Opens after Agatha Storm

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by hearit

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In The News

What some thought to be the work of a Photoshop artist has been confirmed as real: photo of an enormous 200 foot deep sinkhole in Guatemala City that swallowed an entire three-story clothing factory building.
An almost perfectly round sinkhole that runs approximately 200 feet deep and 66 feet across has swallowed an entire intersection in Guatemala City. The sinkhole was originally thought to be 100 feet deep however further reports show the hold to be double that originally estimated depth. The Guatemala sinkhole formed during a tropical storm and geologists say that the circular shape suggests a cave formation underneath the hole.
What, exactly, has caused the sinkhole in Guatemala is still a mystery, however it is the second massive sinkhole to form in the region, and close proximity, in less than three years. "I can tell you what it's not: It's not a geological fault, and it's not the product of an earthquake," said David Monterroso, a geophysics engineer at the National Disaster Management Agency. "That's all we know. We're going to have to descend [into the sinkhole]." Crews were waiting for blueprints of the Central America city's drainage system before investigating further.
The sinkhole formed Saturday at the Guatemala intersection, immediately swallowing an entire clothing factory building, only about three miles from the site of a similar sinkhole three years ago. Miraculously no factory workers died, however one man is missing. "The boys [clothing factory workers] were lucky," resident Honora Oliva said. "They left at six that afternoon, an hour before the earth opened up." Neighbors said a weekend security guard also was spared because he had left to tend to his house, his home having been flooded from heavy rains sent by Tropical Storm Agatha which had bore down on Central America. The Tropical Storm Agatha has killed at least 179 people and about 100 people are still reported as missing.
The previous 2007 sinkhole killed three and swallowed several homes in the same area, that sinkhole blamed on rain and an underground sewage flow. Guatemalan Police and soldiers stood guard around the sinkhole to prevent the curious from getting too close. Most in neighboring homes have moved, afraid that the massive sinkhole will expand and swallow more homes. Agatha, the first named storm of the 2010 Pacific hurricane season, crashed into Guatemala less than three days ago, dumping more than 3 feet of rain in the mountainous West area and in neighboring El Salvador.

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