Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Sinkholes are a problem here in Florida, where the water table is high. Several were caused when large amounts of water were used over the past week to try to keep the citrus from freezing. Sinkholes occur naturally and as a result of human activity, and can be found around the world (one website calls them "Earth's dirty little secret"). They are frequently featured in the weird news because not only are the stories so strange (a 9-year-old girl drops into a sinkhole while playing baseball in Oregon, drilling by Texaco causes an entire lake to disappear, a giraffe and an ostrich are eaten up by a sinkhole in a Louisiana zoo, Olympic Torch relay detours around a sinkhole in Canada), the photographs of the earth swallowing up houses, equipment, and vehicles are so dramatic. But none - I think - quite so incredible as the enormous sinkhole (pictured) that occurred in the San Antonio neighborhood of Guatemala City ...

This 330'-deep monster opened up on February 25, 2007, after rumbling had been heard for several weeks. It swallowed a dozen homes and killed 3 people - teenagers Irma and David Soyos and their father, 53-year-old Domingo Soyos. After the collapse, the seemingly bottomless depths gave off tremors, sounds of flowing water, and the scent of sewage. Police established a 500' perimeter around the hole and 1,000 or so people were forced to evacuate, probably permanently. “We have closed the valves on the storm and sewer drains and we are going to wait until the area stabilizes before going down there to evaluate, but in the meantime, the mouth of the hole will certainly become larger,” said a government official. Seismic equipment had been placed on site, but the disaster occurred before a robotic camera could be sent down to investigate. The collapse is believed to have been caused when rainwater and fluid from a ruptured sewer main dissolved the surrounding rock. In an interview a couple of weeks after the collapse, civil engineer and missionary Eric Haddox said that the sinkhole was not quite as deep (204') as originally reported, that the underground erosion had begun long before the recent rains, and that a 4-story building less than a yard from the edge of the hole was at risk of falling in. The sinkhole has since been mitigated and plans to develop on the site have been proposed.


  1. Incredible Hole. Thanks for the post.

  2. Hollow Earth

    ONE BUDDHISM : http://GodWeAre.net


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