A massive chasm that continues to expand threatens to engulf a house near the Mexican capital.
The crater, which appeared in Santa Maria Zacatepec on Saturday, is filled with water, according to images of the scene. The city, about 80 miles outside of Mexico City, is in the state of Puebla.
The hole started at just over 5 meters wide but has since swelled to 75 meters wide, officials said.
Spectators gathered in the area, forcing the police to erect barricades to keep them at a safe distance.
Investigators are struggling to understand what caused the groundswell, but authorities said they were more immediately concerned with security.
According to Newsweek, the governor of the state of Puebla, Miguel Barbosa, described the situation as “a matter of enormous risk”.
“I tell the Poblanos and the people of the region that we are going to be aware that there are no human tragedies,” he said. “It’s a geological fault that needs to be dealt with very carefully, technically and with great care and we are doing it.”
The family whose home was near the hole were evacuated, Barbosa said.
Magdalena and Heriberto Sánchez, the owners of the residence, recalled the thunderous noise which alarmed them.
“At 6 o’clock we heard thunder and we didn’t think that was it, then my in-laws realized it and when I approached I saw that the earth was sinking and that the ‘water was bubbling and I panicked, ”said Magdalena. Sánchez told El Sol de México.
Sinkholes form when groundwater flows underground, dissolving rock below the surface, according to the United States Geological Survey. Collapses are usually sudden “because the land usually remains intact for a period of time until the underground spaces get too large”.