Two giant karst funnels opened in the road near the capital of Guatemala. Several people were rescued from the 15-meter-deep sinkholes created on Saturday as a result of heavy rain, three of them were injured. Two others are considered missing. The search for holes in the ground, which was still ongoing on Monday, proved to be unsuccessful.
A road in the municipality of Villa Nueva, south of the country’s capital Guatemala, collapsed on Saturday due to heavy rainfall. Two huge sinkholes, each 15 meters deep, opened in the middle of the road. Several vehicles were consumed.
After many hours of action, the rescue services, assisted by a dog specializing in searching for people, managed to get several people out of the sinkholes, including three injured – two at the time of the incident were in cars and one was riding a motorcycle. The fate of two other people, according to recent reports, is still unknown.
Mother and daughter wanted, father rescued
According to the media, the missing are mother and daughter, driving a car engulfed in a huge sinkhole. The man traveling with them – the father of the family – was among the rescued, dug out on Sunday.
Government officials said that there are caverns (voids) in the sinkholes at Villa Nueva and that the search has been concentrated there. It was because of the existence of these “caves” that heavy equipment was withdrawn at one point. Officials added that the priority at the moment was a rescue operation, not determining the exact causes of the crash.
Family of missing persons: we have no hope
Members of the missing family, 38-year-old Olga (mother of three) and less than 15-year-old Hellen, are waiting for news, although they admit that their hope is fading away. The sister of the father of the family, who was saved, told the Guatemalan daily La Hora that her sister-in-law and niece were wonderful women.
– We’re waiting, but I think they’re dead. We have no hope anymore because a long time has passed. But even if (they cannot be found), the bodies can be extracted and a proper burial can be organized – she added.
A frequent, dangerous phenomenon
Karsts are quite common in this area. In 2007, a giant sinkhole suddenly swallowed many homes, killing three to five people according to various sources. Even more tragic was the balance sheet of the disaster in 2010, when there were at least 15 deaths.
Victims of the rainy season
As the local media recalled, at least 44 people have died this year due to the effects of the rainy season in Guatemala from May to October.
tvnmeteo.pl, lahora.gt, Reuters, La Prensa Latina, nbcnews.com
Main photo source: Reuters