A perfectly circular, huge hole suddenly appeared in Tierra Armarilla, in the Atacama region of Chile. The chasm is huge: it is estimated to be more than 200 meters deep with a diameter of about 32 and is close to a copper mine operated by Canadian company Lundin Mining.
Chile, a huge chasm opens in the desert: images from the drone
Around the cavity, the security forces have erected a security perimeter about 100 meters to protect the population from other possible collapses. The company said that “there has been no impact on personnel, equipment or infrastructure” and that the sinkhole has remained stable since its takeover.
The Chilean authorities sent a team of experts to explain what happened.
Cristian Zuniga, mayor of the nearby municipality of Tierra Amarilla which has about 13,000 inhabitants, told reporters that such a chasm is an unprecedented fact: “We ask that the causes be shed: if the collapse is the product of mining or something else”. The causes that lead to the opening of these craters can be traced back to the collapse of an underground cave system, but the impact of mining activities in the area cannot be excluded.
Alarmed, the mayor, however, wanted to reassure everyone: “The nearest house is more than 600 meters away, while any town or service is almost a kilometer from the affected area”.
Immediately alerted, the national geology and mining service sent specialized personnel to clarify what led to the opening of the chasm. Inside the hole, no specific materials or materials extraneous to the area were detected. Meanwhile, Lundin Mining has made it known that the mine is constantly monitored and works have been suspended, but that in any case, since the chasm formed, no suspicious movements of the ground have been reported.