If you haven’t seen this picture yet of the giant sinkhole that opened up in Guatemala City and swallowed a whole building, yes, it’s real. No Jerry Bruckheimer movie effect necessary. There’s another one at the bottom of this post. That’s just the most visible manifestation though of a hellish one-two punch from Mother Nature last week.

First, the Pacaya Volcano that people like to go hiking as a tourist attraction blew its top, spewing out rock and ash and closing the international airport. Then Tropical Storm Agatha hit the Pacific coast soon after, triggering a chain of mudslides, swollen rivers, floods, and that sinkhole.

For an amazing set of photos that show how powerful the impact really was, follow this link to, where they don’t make you click through 20 pages to see it all. You can just scroll down and get a sense of how rough things are in this country where a lot of people already live hand to mouth.

A writer I know and respect, Luke Armstrong, recommends The God’s Child as a reputable organization to funnel money to. Right now, cash is the best medicine so aid workers can get what they need to feed people, purify water, and provide places to sleep.

You can also go to this Boing Boing blog story to get links to local news reports, more photos, and lots of comments on how these crazy sinkholes occur.

guatemala travel delays