The massive sinkhole in Chile has just doubled in size, growing large enough to swallow France’s Arc de Triomphe.
The sinkhole, which first appeared on July 30, is currently 160 feet wide and 656 feet deep. Its black pit could also contain Seattle’s Space Needle.
Initially, the hole spanned approximately 82 feet across and water was visible at the bottom.
Late on Saturday (August 6), the National Service of Geology and Mining announced that it was still looking into the gaping hole near the Canadian Lundin Mining-operated Alcaparrosa mine, which is located roughly 413 miles north of Santiago.
The property is owned by Lundin to the tune of 80%, with Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation holding the remaining 20%.
The geology and mining agency announced it was beginning a “sanctioning process” in addition to ordering all work to stop. However, the specifics of what that action would entail were not disclosed by the government.
An inquiry for comments was not immediately answered by Lundin. The company last week stated that it was investigating the cause of the sinkhole and that neither employees nor members of the community were impacted.
The geology and mining service reported that it had installed water extraction pumps at the mine and that it will check the mine’s underground chambers for possible over-extraction in the next few days.
Officials in the area have stated their concern that the Alcaparrosa mine may have had an underground flood, which could have caused the surrounding soil to become unstable.
According to what the Mayor of Tierra Amarilla, Cristobal Zuniga, told the local media, that would be “something completely out of the ordinary.”
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