disasters The Worst Sinkhole Disasters of All Time  

Coy Jandreau
41k views 24 items

A sinkhole, also known as a swallow hole, shake hole, swallet, or doline, is a depression or hole caused by a collapse of the surface layer of the earth. Sinkholes can range from just one meter (swallowing up a single person walking by on the street) up to hundreds of kilometers, taking out entire cities. They can happen naturally by wind or water erosion, or artificially due to people mining and drilling in unsafe areas.

Whichever the case and whatever the cause, people notice. It's a literal force of nature and it can be terrifying. Though some are later turned into a nice vacation spot. They happen all over the world, on both continents and islands. Below are the worst sinkhole disasters of all time, ranked by users. Vote up the disaster you think was the worst, and keep an eye on the earth beneath you.

The White House Lawn


On May 22, 2018, a sinkhole developed on the White House lawn in Washington, D.C. The sinkhole started just outside of White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley's office, and groundskeepers roped off the area. When reporters and onlookers first arrived to the scene, they claimed the hole was growing.

The sinkhole has led to a host of jokes on social media, most of which poke fun at President Trump's "drain the swamp" slogan.

Hurricane Agatha Guatemala City Sinkhole

Hurricane Agatha Guatemala Cit... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Worst Sinkhole Disasters of All Time
Photo: Catherine Todd/Flickr
Disaster struck Guatemala City again when, less than 2 kilometers from one the sinkhole that opened up in 2007, another sinkhole swallowed an entire three story building. The ground collapsed more than 300 feet and 15 people were killed. 

Berezniki Sinkhole

Berezniki Sinkhole is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Worst Sinkhole Disasters of All Time
Photo: via Wikimedia
This sinkhole in the Russian city of Berezniki is ENORMOUS and approaching its 30th birthday. It started in 1986 and has been growing every year. As of 2012, it was 340 yards wide, 430 yards long, and 780 feet deep. It's slowly consuming the entire city.

Guatemala City Sinkhole

Guatemala City Sinkhole is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Worst Sinkhole Disasters of All Time
Photo: horslips5/Flickr
The people of a Guatemala City had been hearing strange sounds for weeks when suddenly, in late February 2007, an almost perfect circle sinkhole opened up 300 feet of earth beneath them! That's nearly the size of the Statue of Liberty but... DOWN. Unfortunately three people were killed and over one thousand had to be evacuated.