NEWS

Guatemala City Sinkhole. It it a Sinkhole?

Officials have blamed recent rains caused by Tropical Storm Agatha, and an underground sewage flow from a ruptured main for the Sinkhole tragedy

2010/06/03 12:00 AM

By: gop

Part of a poor Guatemala City neighbourhood fell some 330-feet into a Sinkhole below the surface on Friday.

Guatemala City Sinkhole Casualties

The sinkhole swallowed about a dozen homes and is so far blamed in the deaths of three people including two teenagers.

Police established a 500-yard (457-meter) no-go zone around the 60-feet diameter sinkhole, and nearly a thousand people were evacuated, unsure as to whether the area will ever be called home again.

Residents had been hearing noises and feeling tremors for about a month before the sinkhole appeared before dawn, waking many in the poor neighbourhood.

Cause of Sinkhole

Officials have blamed recent rains caused by Tropical Storm Agatha, and an underground sewage flow from a ruptured main for the tragedy. This is compounded by the fact that the city and its underground infrastructure, were built in a region where the first few hundred meters of ground are mostly made up of a material called pumice fill, deposited during past volcanic eruptions.

Guatemala City Sinkhole Not a Sinkhole

It is believed that what occurred in Guatemala is not really a sinkhole as a sinkhole is a natural occurrence.

Natural sinkholes generally form when heavy, water-saturated soil causes the roof of an underground limestone cavity to collapse, or when water widens a natural fracture in limestone bedrock.

But there is no limestone beneath the section of Guatemala City where the new sinkhole appeared, at least not at the depth at which the hole formed - nationalgeographic

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