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Strange Sinkhole Appears: A Massive Hole Just Opened Up in Chile — And It’s Still Growing

Authorities have offered no explanation for the 656 foot deep hole.

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Sinkhole Chile

Geologists in Chile are investigating a strange sinkhole that emerged over the weekend that’s still growing, leaving local authorities baffled.

The massive hole—656 feet deep and the width of the White House (82 feet)—appeared over the weekend outside of the town of Tierra Amarilla in the Atacama region on land owned and operated by Canada’s Lundin Mining company.

“There is a considerable distance, approximately 200 meters (656 feet), to the bottom,” David Montenegro, Sernageomin’s director, said in a statement. “We haven’t detected any material down there, but we have seen the presence of a lot of water.”

Chile’s National Service of Geology and Mining, Sernageomin, sent specialists to help all relevant authorities with the investigation into the area—roughly 413 miles north of the capital, Santiago—to see if the massive sinkhole has a connection to the Canadian company’s mining operations in the region.

The entire mining site has been shut down for the investigation as local authorities have so far been unable to offer an explanation for the 656 foot deep hole.

Lundin Mining said in their statement that none of the workers present were hurt or in any way impacted by the massive sinkhole.

“Upon detection, the area was immediately isolated, and the relevant regulatory authorities notified. There has been no impact to personnel, equipment or infrastructure.”

“The closest home is more than 600m (1,969ft) away while any populated area or public service are almost a kilometre away from the affected zone,” the official statement from the company added.

However, Canadian mining companies have been operating throughout Latin America over the years, having been accused of a wide variety of environmental and human rights violations.

Tierra Amarilla’s mayor, Cristóbal Zúñiga, told a local radio station that the community living near the mine “has always had a fear that something like this could happen.”

“Today it happened in a space that’s an agricultural property, but our greatest fear now is that this could happen in a populated place, on a street, in a school,” said Zuñiga.

“Protecting the integrity of our inhabitants is our greatest concern at the moment.”

Unfortunately for this community, the mysterious sinkhole nearby is still growing.

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