Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Huge Steaming Crack Appears in the Ground

Residents on the border between San Francisco El Alto and Momostenango are alarmed by a crack that formed in the earth belching superheated steam. They are demanding that authorities call in experts to explain what is going on.

The departmental governor, Mario Jacinto Chaj, said that the government has been informed and requests made for geologists to explain the phenomenon.

The crack is about 20 meters (60 feet) wide and more than 1,000 meters (3,000 feet) long. Rumbling sounds can be heard coming from the earth. On the evening the crack first appeared there were reports of an incandescent light in the area.

The superheated steam is hot enough to instantly melt plastic. One of the villagers fell into the crack and suffered burns on his hands and legs.

The governor urged people not to panic and not to go near the crack lest others get hurt, and to wait for geologists to arrive.

Some residents believe the crack is volcanic however there is no smell of sulfur or other minerals anywhere along the crack. Just clean steam.

The area is characterized by the existence of hot springs and it's possible that the crack results from an underground river of superheated water.

In 1999, downtown San Francisco El Alto was affected by a similar problem. At that time about 10 houses were damaged. You can still see the trench that was formed by that geological phenomenon.

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