Pictures: Sinkholes around the World

In May 2010, a huge, almost perfectly circular, sinkhole measuring 66 feet (20 m) wide and 100 feet (30 m) deep suddenly opened up, swallowing a three-storey building and a house in Guatemala City. Authorities blamed heavy rains caused by tropical storm Agatha.           

Sinkholes in Waihi, New Zealand, December 2001 by Dean Purcell/AP
  • In December 2001, a house in Waihi, New Zealand, collapsed into a huge hole measuring 50 metres wide and 15 metres deep. A family of five, including three young children, escaped serious injury despite their home crashing into a chasm created by an old mine shaft collapsing in the middle of the night. Picture: Dean Purcell/AP

Sinkholes, craters and collapsed roads around the world
  • A sinkhole that opened up in the driveway of a house in Walter's Ash, Buckinghamshire. Picture: Reuters

Sinkholes, craters in north Kent
  • A stretch of the M2 in north Kent was closed after a 15ft-deep hole was discovered in the central reservation. Picture: Highways Agency

Sinkholes China, in August 2012
  • A firefighter is lowered down into a 10m deep pit that suddenly opened up on a road in Harbin city, China, in August 2012. Two people were killed and two others injured. Picture: Quirky China News / Rex Features

  • In August 2009, a road in Hefei, Anhui Province, China, suddenly sank, causing one taxi and three motobikes to fall into the hole. Picture: Top Photo Group / Rex Features

Sinkholes, Keystone USA April 2011
  • April 2011: Rescuers work at the site of a road cave-in in the Fengtai district of Beijing. A truck was trapped in the pit but the driver was rescued and no casualties were reported.   Picture: KeystoneUSA-ZUMA / Rex Features

Sinkholes in southwest China's Sichuan province, March 2013
  • March 2013: People stand beside an enormous hole in the ground in Guangyuan, a village in southwest China's Sichuan province. The hole currently measures 24.9 metres in diameter and residents fear the pit will continue to grow until it starts swallowing nearby houses.         Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Darvaza Gates Of Hell in the Karakum Desert, Turkmenistan
  • A tourist peers into the Darvaza Gates Of Hell gas crater in the Karakum Desert, Turkmenistan. The eerie cavern has been on fire for more than 40 years. It was discovered in 1971 by Soviet geologists when the ground beneath their drilling rig suddenly collapsed, leaving a large hole with a diameter of 70 metres (230 ft). As the huge crater was filled with potentially poisonous natural gas the decision was made to set it alight. Scientists expected it to burn itself out within a few days, but the fire is still as fierce as ever. Picture: Amos Chapple 
Source: Telegraph