Photo: TVN Atacama / YouTube / Reproduction
Have you ever heard the saying “If you look straight into the abyss, the abyss looks at you”? This is exactly the feeling when looking at the giant crater that has appeared in the Atacama region, in Chile, from the inside.
Records collected on Sunday (7) by Chilean broadcaster TVN He showed that the near-perfect hole had irregular stone walls and a bottom so far that it was impossible to see what lay beneath – a true abyss.
The bottom consists of sand and stones that continue to separate from the walls towards the ground. a SYRNAGOMIN (Chilean National Geology and Mining Service) He said The depth of the pit was reduced by at least two meters due to the accumulation of stones on the surface. There is no sign of water in there.
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What is known so far
Tuesday (9) Information from the agency Reuters He indicated that The hole has doubled in size: Its diameter is 50 meters and its depth is at least 200 meters. Once discovered, at the end of July, it was estimated that the crater was 25 meters in diameter and 40 meters deep –Equivalent to a 20-storey building.
According to the director of the Geoscientific Network in Chile, Cristobal Muñoz, the roughly cylindrical shape of the hole comes from circulating groundwater. “Because it relates to terrain with high soil erosion, it ends up building almost vertical walls,” he told TVN.
On Monday (8), the Chilean Minister of Mining, Marcela Hernando, met with the authorities to get explanations for the problem. According to her, the first analyzes inside the Chilean crater were not able to determine whether there was an overexploitation of the mine – one of the main hypotheses for the opening.
“We have to reformulate what our inspections are,” the minister said. “And reinforce this area with more individuals, as there are a lot of mining deposits.”
Residents of Tierra Amarilla and neighboring municipalities continue to protest the exploitation of the Alcaparrosa mine, where the pit is located. The opening is 600 meters from two villages and a health center. Exploration has been suspended since the sinkhole was discovered on July 30.
There is uncertainty about the security conditions of local communities. Now the government has hired a company specializing in topography to study the risks in the area. However, the study must last at least 30 days.
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