A giant sinkhole opened in Guatemala City on February 24, 2007 and swallowed about a dozen homes. Officials said the 100 meter deep (330 feet deep) sinkhole in a crowded neighborhood of poor, concrete homes was caused by recent rains and an underground sewage flow from a ruptured main.
City spokesman said the sewage main ruptured after becoming clogged, the city was aware of the blockage and the army had considered a controlled explosion to clear the pipe which carries both rainwater and sewage for much of the capital. City residents also knew that something was wrong, they had been hearing noises and feeling tremors for about a month before the ground opened up.
From the air, the sinkhole looked like a bottomless black pit surrounded by concrete streets and tin-roofed shacks. The pit was emitting foul odors, loud noises and tremors and shaking the surrounding ground. A rush of water could be heard from its depths and authorities feared it could widen or others could open up. 1,000 people were evacuated from their homes and police cordoned off a 500-yard security perimeter around the hole.