Massive Sinkhole In Guatemala Created By Tropical Storm Agatha

Photo by Gizmodo http://gizmodo.com/5551916

Tropical Storm Agatha, which has caused over 100 deaths, has been pounding Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, just unleashed it’s latest natural disaster: a massive sinkhole in Guatemala City.

A high res version of the image above can be found on the flickr stream of Gobierno De Guatemala, found here.

The sinkhole is the latest in a series of events resulting from the massive storm, including the collapse of a dozen bridges, flooding, and mudslides.  At publishing time, 94 people have been killed, along with 54 missing.

This huge sinkhole located in Zone 2 of La Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción, opened up beneath a city street, and has since engulfed the entire intersection, swallowed a three story apartment building and a house.

According to CNN, “A local newspaper reported that a private security guard was killed when the sinkhole opened up, but authorities had not confirmed the fatality.”

This is not the first time large sinkholes have taken place in Guatemala as the photos below, dated from 2007 demonstrate.  The photos below are from a sinkhole that opened up in February 2007, which was 100 meters deep, and killed three.

2007 Guatemala Sinkhole

2007 Guatemala Sinkhole

Additional information of the 2007 sinkhole can be found at National Geographic.

These unusual geological features usually occur in areas with Karst Topography, where layers under the surface are easily dissolved, creating massive subterranean cavities.  Limestone caves are an example of a Karst landscape.  In Guatemala City, large amounts of rainfall associated with Tropical Storm Agatha are thought to have opened up a fissure, which quickly spread to the sinkhole in the photos.

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3 Responses to Massive Sinkhole In Guatemala Created By Tropical Storm Agatha

  1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Stephen Dufrechou
    June 1, 2010 at 3:00 am

    Good God. I’ve never seen anything like this before. Shows you how sheltered I am! … Great Report, here, too, Olson. I’m going to go do a bit of research on sinkholes and Karst Topography, now that you’ve piqued my interest.

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