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Giant Sinkhole Swallows Family in Guatemala


Earth News: Guatemala
Feb 23, 2007
Photo: Rescue crews work around the area of Guatemala City where a 330-foot-deep sinkhole swallowed homes and businesses on Friday.

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala (AP) -- A giant sinkhole opened before dawn Friday, swallowing several homes and a truck and leaving a father and two teenagers missing in Guatemala City.
Officials said the 100-meter-deep (330-foot-deep) sinkhole in a crowded neighborhood of poor, concrete homes was caused by recent rains and an underground sewage flow from a ruptured main.
Authorities said the hole was extremely unstable, forcing the evacuation of nearly 1,000 people from their homes. Police helped residents, some even carrying refrigerators and televisions on their shoulders.
The pit was emitting foul odors, loud noises and tremors, and a rush of water could be heard from its depths. Authorities feared it could widen or others could open up.

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