Laguna de Chakanbacán

Before and after picture of the lagoon in Mexico. Several sinkholes fissured in the bottom of Laguna Chakabacan in Mexico.
Since Sunday evening, the, located in Quintana Roo, Mexico is being drained by large sinkholes, killing a high number of fish, turtles, swamp crocodiles and eels, among other species. The sinkholes are about six meters deep and up to 10 meters wide, and have already drained practically 80% of the water contained in the 200 hectares and up to 10 meters deep lagoon of Chakanbacán. OMG!

According local reports, a loud roar was heard on Sunday. Just after, the lagoon started to drain underground. By Wednesday morning almost 3/4 of the lagoon had dried up. And this is not the first time that such a surprising and unexpected phenomenon has occurred in the area.

Yesterday, the authorities of the Environmental Protection Agency (PPA), Institute of Biodiversity and Natural Protected Areas in Quintana Roo (Ibanqroo), National Forestry Commission (Conafor), National Water Commission (Conagua), Federal Environmental Protection Agency (Profepa), Cocodrilia and ejido authorities, have started investigating the cause of the problem, pictured below: Sinkholes! Large sinkholes!

Laguna Chakabacan
Laguna Chakabacan in Mexico

One of the sinkholes that drained Laguna Chakabacan in Mexico
One of the giant sinkholes in about 10 meters wide and 6 meters deep. It has emptied the water of a large lagoon in Mexico. The inhabitants are worried: It is not the first time in the region

Mexico is known for rivers disappearing underground: Atoyac River and two other rivers in Veracruz, a waterfall in Chiapas and a section of the canal in Xochimilco, Mexico City.

Most of these regions and that where the lagoon sits are prone to sinkholes or other craters as they are mostly karst, a rock that erodes rapidly in water.

When the sinkholes formed last Sunday, a strong rumble shook a large area around the lagoon. Locals remember the exact same geological phenomenon occurred 6 years ago. Now officials and residents and scared about being swallowed by the sinkholes themselves. At the moment, this phenomenon does not represent a risk to the human life of the surrounding populations.

This natural disaster not only will have very bad consequences on the natural ecosystem of the lagoon but will affect the agricultural, livestock and tourist activities, since the villagers depend on this body of water to supply their fields and animals.

So what is going on in Laguna de Chakanbacán? It's all in the ground. Caverns build up underground in the karstic soil. When the ground on top of the cavern is too heavy, it collapses. And if the sinkhole is situated in a body of water, it literally swallows everything up: water, fish and other rare animals.