[from National Geographic News, confirmed by Snopes]

Sinkhole in Guatemala City a few days before parshat Korach!

A huge sinkhole in Guatemala City, Guatemala, crashed into being on
Sunday, May 30, 2010, swallowing a three-story clothing factory and a house! The sinkhole has likely been weeks or even years in the making—floodwaters from tropical storm Agatha caused the sinkhole to finally collapse, scientists say.

The sinkhole appears to be about 66 feet (20 meters) wide and about 100 feet (30 meters) deep, said James Currens, a hydrogeologist at the University of Kentucky.

Sinkholes are natural depressions that can form when water-saturated soil and other particles become too heavy and cause the roofs of existing voids in the soil to collapse. Another way sinkholes can form is if water enlarges a natural fracture in a limestone bedrock layer. As the crack gets bigger, the topsoil gently slumps, eventually leaving behind a sinkhole. It's unclear which mechanism is behind the 2010 Guatemala sinkhole, but in either case the final collapse can be sudden, Currens said.


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