Friday, July 22, 2011

Her own private sinkhole

It wasn't a presence under the bed, but an absence. Guatemalan widow Inocenta Hernandez was home with her grandkids on Monday night when they were startled by a loud boom. Thinking that there had been a car accident in the street or that a cooking gas canister had blown up nearby, they rushed outside only to be directed back indoors. "We rushed out to look and saw nothing. A gentleman told me that the noise came from my house," said Hernandez, "and we searched until we found [the cause] under my bed." The sinkhole that had opened up so explosively (photos above and here) measured 40' (12.2m) deep and 32" (80cm) in diameter. Built on volcanic deposits, Guatemala City is especially prone to sinkholes (see a spectacular example here), a natural erosive process often sparked by heavy rains and sometimes by a leaky sewer system. To see and figure out what prompted her sinkhole, Hernandez has been visited by investigators from the natural disaster office and the water utility company, police officers, journalists - and no doubt many curious onlookers.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing, recently traveled in Guatemala. An amazing country.


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