Forty foot hole opens under Guatemalan woman's bed

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 22, 2011 3:44 PM

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Guatemalan pensioner Inocenta Hernandez ran for her life when a hole 12 meters (40 feet) deep suddenly opened up under her bed.

"It terrified me and when I heard it I ran outside because I thought there had been an explosion," she said on Friday.

The 65-year-old Hernandez was in another room when the floor collapsed beneath her bed, leaving a perfectly round circle about a meter wide in her home in Guatemala City.

Beneath was a water well which Hernandez said she had never known about in the 50 years she has lived in the house.

Sink holes are a menace in the Guatemalan capital, which is built on volcanic deposits and has a defective drainage system that struggles to cope with heavy tropical rains.

In 2010, a sink hole in the Central American metropolis swallowed a three-story building, and in 2007 the country's largest sink hole killed three people.

(Reporting by Mike McDonald)