Worst Nightmare: Sinkhole Opens Up Under Woman’s Bed in Guatemala

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Johan Ordonez / AFP / Getty Images

A 40-foot-deep, 3-foot-wide crater almost swallowed a woman sleeping on top. And it’s not the first time a sinkhole traumatized residents in Guatemala City.

The sinkhole opened up overnight with a harsh bang that Inocenta Hernandez mistook for cooking gas tank explosion or car accident outside. Turns out, the ground under her bed collapsed. Luckily, it wasn’t wide enough to take the 65-year-old woman down the abyss.

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A bizarre natural phenomenon, a sinkhole is formed due to natural underground erosion. Most of the times, the collapses are chillingly sudden.

Over the years, bits of Guatemala City—built on spongy volcanic grounds—have continued to be consumed by the deadly caves. Officials report drainage and sewage problems make the city more sinkhole-prone. In 2007 a 330-foot-deep hole took lives of three people not far from Hernandez’s home. Last year, 60-foot-wide sinkhole gulped down three-story buildings and houses, fortunately with no casualties.

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