(Click to enlarge)
Guatemalan Government’s Flickr feed shows a spontaneous sinkhole (“hundimiento”) 20 meters deep and 15 wide that appeared today in Zone 2 of Guatemala City, after overwhelming saturation of rains from tropical storm Agatha. Local press reports that it swallowed an entire 3-story building.
Apparently because of the unstable ground that this portion of Guatemala is sitting on, it’s not uncommon to get sinkholes forming after massive storms bring huge amounts of water into the water table. It’s odd to even think about a “river underground”, but that is literally what happens as water penetrates the ground, saturates it and then flows to areas of less density to equalize, taking earth out from under the city with it:
This sinkhole is a minor problem considering that on the 27th Guatemala’s Pacaya volcano erupted and then 2 days later the tropical storm “Agatha” followed up bringing the rain that is causing the sinkholes to form and flooding the city. According to CNN, “Agatha” is responsible for 140 deaths so far and the count will continue climbing.
It looks like a lot of the Central American countries (El Salvador and Honduras) are getting slammed as well with the later announcing a state of emergency.