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Several houses and at least one lorry have been swallowed by a giant sinkhole in a poor district of Guatemala City.
The hole is said to be more than 100m (330ft) deep. Residents said they had felt the earth shaking and heard loud noises before the houses collapsed.
More than 1,000 homes were evacuated in the area. The national emergency agency said there had not been any casualties.
Officials said the sinkhole had probably been caused by a saturated sewer main.
How do sinkholes form?
Sinkholes are most commonly thought of as physical depressions or holes in the surface of the land. Not all sinkholes, however, are as visible or dramatic as a home or roadway falling into the ground. Many times, sinkhole activity never manifests itself of the surface of the land, making it harder to detect.
A rapid increase in sinkhole activity can be attributed to the development of land, which changes the earth’s surface as well as the weight or load on the soil beneath it. The creation of retention ponds, new buildings and homes, roadways, and changes in ground water levels can all trigger sinkhole activity.
Authorities had apparently suspected something was wrong with the site before the sinkhole appeared.
"We knew, and (the seismology institute) had placed a seismic meter there," said Alvaro Rodas, the director of social development for Guatemala City. "The city government had contracted a robotic camera system to go down there, but the disaster occurred first."
Cristobal Colon, a spokesman for the municipal water authority, said the sewage main ruptured after becoming clogged. He said the army had been considering a controlled explosion to clear the pipe, which carries both rainwater and sewage for much of the capital.
Originally posted by IronDogg
The last picture in that secondary link caught my eye. If there are any other construction oriented people out there, take a look at their quality road/base construction. Barely a 2 inch lift of asphalt, over a small limestone sandy type base, and then rely on natural base under that... eww boy...
Originally posted by odyseusz
Have anybody any information about what happened with that hole to present day?
In February 2007 a large sinkhole opened in a poor neighborhood in northeast Guatemala city, killing three people. The sinkhole was 100.5 m (330 ft) deep, and apparently was created by fluid from a sewer dissolving the rock underneath. As a result,one thousand people have been evacuated from the area.  The sink hole has since been mitagated and plans to develop on the site have been proposed.