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Mexican farm sinkhole swallows more land and eats at home

MEXICO CITY (AP) – A large sinkhole that appeared in late May on a farm in central Mexico has already grown larger than a football field according to authorities, it is likely to continue to expand.

The sinkhole is now over 125 meters in diameter and has started to swallow up a house. The Mexican government sent soldiers to guard people 600 meters from the edge of the hole, which is 15 meters deep.

“It’s a very difficult time for us. It hurts, because that’s all we have, ”said Magdalena Xalamigua Xopillacle, whose brick and cinder block house on Wednesday was slowly collapsing into the abyss. “Sometimes we feel sick because of so much sadness.”

Some residents believe the sinkhole is the result of excessive groundwater extraction by factories or a water bottling plant in the area. But the bottom of the hole is filled with water that appears to have strong currents, and the National Civil Defense Office said experts believe it was caused by something like an underground river.

“It is highly likely that the origin is associated with the presence of groundwater flow,” the office said.

Citing a risk of further fractures in the ground, the office warned people to stay away from the site in Zacatepec town, in Puebla state, east of Mexico City.

“This is not a tourist attraction or a place to visit with your family,” the office said Wednesday.

Authorities put up metal barriers and police bands to prevent onlookers from entering, and restricted the flight of drones overhead.

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