|Guatemala sinkhole appears after tropical storm Agatha hits Central America By Channel 4 News. A massive hole, caused by rains from the tropical storm Agatha, has appeared in Guatemala City. The storm has killed at least 146 people since the weekend as emergency workers struggled to dig bodies out of the mud.
At least 146 people have been killed since heavy rains from the first named tropical storm of 2010 hit Central America. Three feet of rain from the storm, named Agatha, fell over the weekend sparking fears over the coffee crop. More than 94,000 people have been evacuated as the storm buried homes under mud, swept away a highway bridge near Guatemala City and opened up sinkholes in the capital. Guatemalan emergency workers have been fighting to dig bodies out from the wreckage. Survivors have been urged to leave their homes and head to official shelters. Rescuers walked for several hours along muddy tracks to reach trapped villagers and pull them out of collapsed homes. “We had to walk with our equipment through the mountains, rescue people and then walk back again,” said firefighter Rony Veliz. “It’s been very hard.” “We just have shovels and picks. We don’t have any machinery to dig,” said firefighter Mario Cruz. The storm has weakened in strength as it crossed Guatemala, but officials have warned that flooding from Agatha could be worsened by ash from the Pacaya volcano blocking drains. Last Thursday’s eruption forced the closure of Guatemala City’s international airport. Ash again covered the tarmac on Monday delaying plans to reopen the facility, aviation officials said. Central America is vulnerable to heavy rains due to its mountainous terrain, while poor communications in rural areas complicate rescue efforts. Last November’s Hurricane Ida caused flooding and mudslides that killed at least 150 people as it moved through the region.
A giant sinkhole that swallowed several homes is seen in Guatemala City February 23, 2007