A massive sinkhole has appeared in a paddock in central Mexico, threatening to swallow a nearby house as it widens every day.
The giant sinkhole appeared in Santa María Zacatepec, a rural area in the central Puebla state, with a loud crack on Saturday and has since grown rapidly.
It was 60 metres wide by Monday, and 80 metres wide by Tuesday.
State governor Miguel Barbosa Huerta said the family that lived closest to the expanding sinkhole – which is about 20 metres deep – had since been evacuated.
No one has been injured and the governor has warned locals to stay away.
But his warnings have largely been ignored, with crowds flocking to see the ever-growing sinkhole. As they peer over the security cordon, large chunks of earth keep breaking away from the rim.
In one video posted on social media, two men can be seen approaching the hole shortly before it suddenly expands, prompting them to run in the opposite direction.
The Sanchez family, who lived in the house nearest the hole, fear they will be left homeless.
“We have nothing. We’re not from here. We have no relatives. We’re alone,” Heriberto Sanchez, who is originally from the south-eastern state of Veracruz, said.
Scientists and authorities are considering a host of causes for the sinkhole, including a geological fault or variations in soil water content.
“We think that it might be a combination of two factors: The softening of the field, the whole area was being cultivated, as well as the extraction of groundwater, which softens the subsoil,” regional environmental secretary according to Beatriz Manrique said.
Officials from a host of Mexican agencies, including the national water commission, are investigating the sinkhole.
“It will grow until nature decides, when the water stops exerting pressure,” Mr Barbosa said.
“The important thing now is public safety.”