The sinkhole was likely weeks or even years in the making until floodwaters from tropical storm Agatha caused the sinkhole to finally collapse, scientists say.
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 was sudden.