Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Guatemala: First, volcanic eruption; then, devastating tropical storm


Above, this photo just posted to the 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. Not Photoshop, sadly: these happen from time to time during major storms in part because of unstable geology, and in part, bad urban engineering—read more about it in the comments. A break in the over-stressed sewage pipes after the storm was the cause for this one. There are rumors of other sinkholes now forming nearby. See it on Google Maps. (News reports: Prensa Libre, and blogs)


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