Giant 82ft-wide sinkhole opens near underground mine in Chile

A major sinkhole in Northern Chile that opened up overnight is being investigated by scientists as the mayor claim it is getting larger.

The sinkhole is approximately 656 feet deep (200 meters deep) and 82 feet wide (25 meters wide).

It was first discovered Saturday in the Alcaparrosa Mine, Tierra Amarilla on a plot of land owned and operated by a Canadian mining company, Lundin Mining.

A representative for Sernageomin, the National Geology and Mining Service of Chile, said while there is no "material" in the sinkhole they did see "the presence of a lot of water.”

The investigation will concern whether or not the sinkhole has any connection to mining operations.

While officials claim the sinkhole has 'remained stable' since its discovery, some aren't reassured.

The 25-year-old mayor of Tierra Amarilla, Cristóbal Zúñiga, told ADN Radiothe community "always had the fear that something like this could happen."

"Today it happened in this space, on an agricultural property, but our greatest fear today is that this could happen in a populated place, on a street, in a school," Mayor Zúñiga said.

"It is still active, it is still growing and it is something that has not previously been seen in our community."

Mayor Zúñiga holds Sernageomin and Lundin Mining responsible for investigating the matter.

"We believe that there is a mining activity under the populations, and that has never been clarified and it is the competent ones who must watch over this, not only now with the event, but before”, Mayor Zúñiga added.

Lundin Mining released a statement reassuring people "no movement has been detected related to the surficial sinkhole" although they suspended underground mining as "preventive measure"

"As a preventive measure, development work in an area of the Alcaparrosa underground mine has been temporarily suspended though is not expected to impact annual guidance for the Candelaria Copper Mining Complex." The statement read.

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