Credit: AFP/Getty Images
A man inspectas a sinkhole formed in a house on July 19, 2011 in the north of Guatemala City. When neighbors heard the loud boom overnight they thought a cooking gas canister had detonated. Instead they found a deep sinkhole the size of a large pot inside a home in a neighborhood just north of Guatemala City. The sinkhole was 12.2 meters (40 feet) deep and 80 centimeters (32 inches) in diameter, an AFP journalist who visited the site reported. Police, members of the country's natural disaster office and water utility company officials came to visit the site. Sinkholes, formed by the natural process of erosion, can be gradual but are often sudden.
Guatemala City, built on volcanic deposits, is especially prone to sinkholes, often blamed on a leaky sewer system or on heavy rain. AFP PHOTO / Johan ORDONEZ (Photo credit should read JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images)