A giant sinkhole caused by the rains of Tropical Storm Agatha is seen in Guatemala City May 31, 2010.
A 200-foot-deep sinkhole in the north of Guatemala City suddenly opened up in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Agatha, pulling a three-story building and a residential home into the bowels of the earth.The sinkhole, a nearly perfect circular shaft wider than a street intersection, appeared soon after the storm stopped lashing the capital.
Incredible as it may seem, spontaneous sinkholes like this -- known locally as an "hundimiento" -- are a relatively common occurrence in Guatemala. In fact, a sinkhole appeared in almost the same location three years ago.
Locals believe that a leaky sewage drainage system underground may have already weakened the subsurface rock, exacerbating the size of the sinkhole. Authorities say the chasm was solely caused by the storm, but have pledged to look into the incident.