This photo has been hugely popular so we thought we’d run it again.
Despite it’s stunning shape the storm that helped create it also had a deadly side killing at least 115 people.
The tropical storm battered Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador over the weekend, officials in those countries reported.
Guatemala was hit hardest, with at least 92 deaths, 54 people missing and 59 injured, emergency officials said. Nearly 112,000 people have been evacuated and more than 29,000 areliving in temporary shelters, Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom said in an address to the nation late Sunday.
The devastation has been widespread throughout Guatemala with mudslides destroying homes and buildings and burying some victims. At least nine rivers have dramatically higher levels and 13 bridges have collapsed, the nation’s emergency services said.
The office of Guatemala’s president handed out this aerial view of a crater that opened up after Agatha hit
In the northern part of Guatemala City, the downpour created a giant sinkhole that swallowed up a space larger than the area of a street intersection. Residents told CNN that a three-story building and a house fell into the hole.
A local newspaper reported that a private security guard was killed when the sinkhole opened up, but authorities had not confirmed the fatality. Residents said that a poor sewage drainage system underground was to blame for the sinkhole. A similar hole opened up nearby last year, they said.
Classes have been canceled this week throughout the nation.
In Honduras, where 14 people have died, President Porfirio Lobo declared a state of emergency Sunday.
Nearly 3,500 people have been evacuated from their homes and nearly 3,300 are living in shelters, the Honduran emergency agency said Monday. More than 140 homes have been destroyed and another 700 have been damaged, the Permanent Commission for Emergencies reported.
The situation in El Salvador, where nine people died, was improving Monday, officials said. The rain stopped Sunday afternoon and river levels were beginning to diminish, officials said. Classes nationwide remained canceled, however, until further notice.
More rain was possibly forecast for Monday, though, and Salvadoran officials said they were closely monitoring the situation.
Agatha was demoted from a tropical storm to a tropical depression Saturday night and lost its status as a depression Sunday evening.
It was the first named storm for the Pacific hurricane season. The Atlantic hurricane season starts Tuesday.
This isn’t the first time Guatemala has had a sinkhole – in 2007 one killed at least 3 people.
on 2/06/2010 8:35am
Reminds me of a Roger Ramjet cartoon from the 1970s when a large hole formed right through the centre of the earth.
,,,and with the earth’s rotation, made this terrible whistling sound
on 2/06/2010 1:15am
“Lassie” I don’t care if Timmy fell in the well……….. I ain’t gettin him!!!
on 1/06/2010 6:28am
Helloooooo! Is there anybody down there?
on 1/06/2010 4:30am
Wow! you wouldn’t want to be sleep walking during the night now would you?
That is massive – why are there no safety barriers up?