The last couple weeks have been a little rough in Guatemala. It started when the Volcan Pacaya started erupting a leeeeeeettle more aggressively that normal, and began spewing ash all over the city and surrounding areas. If I’m not mistaken, this may be the same volcano that my family and I hiked up to on Christmas Day back in 2007. Pacaya has been an active volcano for quite some time, but it’s been a little over ten years since it was this active.
Next came tropical storm Agatha, which has killed around two hundred people in the Central American region, and left over 150,000 people homeless. The storm caused several mudslides, as well as the overflowing of several rivers, the destruction of bridges around the area, and has left some small villages inaccessible. The people that I’ve talked to from Guatemala haven’t been severely affected, thankfully. My grandma has been back here in the US for a while, so it’s a relief not to have to worry about her safety. Apparently one of her renters had to move to the downstairs apartment, since the weight of the ash and water started causing several leaks in the apartment. My heart goes out to the hundreds that have been affected by it, however, and will continue to be affected by it until they get the help they need to reconstruct their homes and get back on their feet. The UN already issued a statement on aid it will be disbursing.
Finally, most of you have probably already heard about the giant sinkhole that opened up in the city. When this picture first came out on the web, there were rumors that it had been photoshopped. Nope. It’s real. It’s approximately 60 feet wide, and 300 hundred feet deep. 300 feet! Apparently that’s large enough to swallow a three story building, and leave absolutely no sight of it. Thankfully, most reports are that there were no fatalities, since all workers had left the building for the day.
There was a similar sinkhole in Guatemala, in the same neighborhood I believe, about a year or two ago. I started doing a little research this morning into sinkholes, since I just can’t fathom how they happen. I just post the link to Wikipedia instead of boring you all with what I’ve learned about them :) I still don’t understand how they are in almost perfectly round shape, so if anyone comes across that information, please let me know.
I’m posting a link to a blog that I read on the regular, a Canadian mom living in Antigua, Guatemala. She has captured a lot of pictures of what’s going on down there, as well as relief efforts in her neck of the woods.