Deep sinkhole opens under woman's bed
The sinkhole under a Guatemalan woman's bed is about 40 feet deep.
July 20th, 2011
07:34 AM ET

Deep sinkhole opens under woman's bed

The first step out of bed could have been a big one.

A woman in Guatemala City reports that a sinkhole, 40 feet deep and almost 3 feet across, opened under her bed Monday.

"When we heard the loud boom we thought a gas canister from a neighboring home had exploded, or there had been a crash on the street," Inocenta Hernandez, 65, said in an Agence France-Presse report.

"We rushed out to look and saw nothing. A gentleman told me that the noise came from my house, and we searched until we found it under my bed," AFP quotes Hernandez as saying.

The area is prone to sinkholes.

In May 2010, a sinkhole about 60 feet across and 100 feet deep opened in the area, swallowing buildings and an intersection.

In 2007, another sinkhole claimed three lives in Barrio San Antonio in Guatemala City.

Hernandez told AFP that she is thankful the surprise under her bed wasn't any bigger.

"Thank God there are only material damages, because my grandchildren were running around the house, into that room and out to the patio," AFP quoted her as saying.

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Filed under: Guatemala
soundoff (239 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    BTW, where is Ersatz Ellis from Panama?

    July 20, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  2. kevin k in tx

    it is a bricklined well... it is obvious... it probably had been framed in to cover the hole and over the years the wood probably rotted or something and the floor fell out.. or an earth movement caused the covering to dislodge.

    July 20, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • George

      Astute observation. Close examination of the pic does seem to support your claim. Property transfers in the U.S. have to indicate to the potential buyer if any wells exist on the property, but apparently in South America anything goes.

      July 20, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Badeley-Bent

      I Agree. A true sink hole would be an inverted conical shape not a perfect cylindrical shape!

      July 20, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. PROOF THE PHOTO IS NOT SHOPPED

    Same hole, different inspector and view. Would they shop 2 photos? Visit: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01950/sinkhole-bed_1950955i.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/picturesoftheday/8649666/Pictures-of-the-day-20-July-2011.html%3Fimage%3D7&usg=__UkXhSMwxIgUrVFG_gcDAQGFbu6c=&h=413&w=620&sz=37&hl=en&start=1&zoom=1&itbs=1&tbnid=RuroqzAXfrXh4M:&tbnh=91&tbnw=136&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dsinkhole%2Bbed%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1004%26bih%3D598%26gbv%3D2%26tbm%3Disch&ei=ct4mTtbWA4GDgAf5vcFc (This is the UK Telegraph site, not a spam site).

    July 20, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • George A

      they did it to be socially correct. One with a black man and one with a white man.

      July 20, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Rainman minus the freak outs and a warm personality

      Yes! The black and white chess board floor is quite PC.. MLK jr would be quite proud.

      July 20, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. S

    It's like strait out of a horror movie.

    July 20, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Louhound

      Thats the same thing I first thought. Imagine Howie Mandel sneaking out of that thing while you're sleeping. *shudders*

      July 20, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. Matt

    Judging from the photo this doesn't look like your typical sinkhole. It is probably a well that was filled in with debris, and the well floor collapsed into a subterranean cavity/sinkhole.

    July 20, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  6. joann

    Yes,I,agree with Kenny.Imagine,that could,happen to any one of us,so don't brush it off;or laugh.Thank,God no one got hurt;espeicially the grandchildren. JoAnn Bartholomew

    July 20, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. Littleroo27

    not to say that it isn't, but I don't see any brick, just some natural strata. Doesn't mean it's NOT a well, of course. Certainly doesn't make it any less scary to have a 40 foot hole open up under your bed!

    July 20, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. JKB

    As a designer, that's either photoshopped or the strangest behavior of lighting I've ever seen.

    July 20, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      My thoughts exactly (also a designer)

      July 20, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Louhound

      Nothing strange about it. The light is on the inside of the sinkhole, while causing a shadow to cast behind the tape measure. No shadow from the hand, because the hand is above the light source. What do you design exactly?

      July 20, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. 3fingeredjack

    At least that will cut down those long midnight trips to the bathroom.......

    July 20, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  10. systemman

    I agree with devils advocate: 6) If you look inside the hole to the right...there is a shadow for the measuring tape but there isn't a shadow for the hand holding the tape which should be there if the light is in that position.

    July 20, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      the shadow is from the black cord supplying power to the light, not the tape measure. conspiracy fail.

      July 20, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  11. Spanish Inquisition

    How come most of those sinkholes are always that round ? Something fishy with it.

    July 20, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Emigdio

      People tend to cover up wells, but do a terrible job at it. That explains the small ones.

      July 20, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dorf

    @JBK The man is laying on the ground on his shoulder with his wrist turned down in the hole. The light is as well in the hole which is making for the so called weird lighting. You may be a designer but you have no concept of form or spacial orientation. The lighting makes perfect sense.

    July 20, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. hingedlwnb

    That's just where she belongs, by the sink.

    July 20, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  14. dirkK

    Okay, this is one story I won't be showing my little kids. They read an article about 'camel spiders' once and it had them freaked out for weeks. Actually, maybe when they're not behaving, I'll tell them about the sinkholes. And that they are dug by giant camel spiders.

    July 20, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  15. Pluto

    @Joey: You're just mad that even I have standards when it comes to sleeping with your scrawny drunken mother. Who's the little canine sidekick now? Even dogs have standards.

    July 20, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
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