One man is missing and believed dead after a massive hole — a sinkhole –developed suddenly in Guatemala City over the weekend. Â Pictures of the giant formation have gone viral on the world wide web. Â The Guatemala City sinkhole was initially estimated to be 0ver 200 feet deep and at least a hundred feet wide, but an Associated Press report noted the dimensions were somewhat smaller (100 feet deep, 66 feet wide).
A three-story clothing factory was swallowed and disappeared into the giant chasm when it opened up at a street intersection in the capital of Guatemala. Â Workers from the plant had just left an hour before.
The sinkhole appeared following three feet of rain brought ashore by Tropical Storm Agatha, this year’s first Pacific storm. Â Agatha hit Central America with a vengeance, reportedly leaving at least 179 dead and a few hundred missing.
Pictures of the giant sinkhole show what looks to be an artificially bored hole in the ground. Â In fact, the hole is so symmetrical that some believed the first pictures taken of the topographical event were fake or photoshopped.
Guatemala City has seen massive sinkholes before. Â In 2007, a 330-feet-deep sinkhole appeared after several weeks of ground trembling and rumbling. Â That giant sinkhole took three lives, all members of the same family.
Sinkholes are not geographically exclusive to any particular area. Â They form when topsoil and bedrock are removed by water, which can be a gradual or sudden process. Â Sinkholes vary in size from a few feet to craters like the the Guatemala City sinkholes.
Just as there have been those who doubt the authenticity of the pictures of the latest Guatemala City sinkhole, primarily due to its uniform circular appearance, there are those who have developed theories as to how it formed. Â One theory blames extraterrestrials, the sinkhole part of a tunnel left by UFOs. Â Regardless, in one picture, taken from above, debris can be seen at the bottom of the immense hole.
Images of the 2010 Guartemala City giant sinkhole follow in a video report from the Associated Press.