Enormous sinkhole opens up at CUC plant


A 50-foot-wide sinkhole appeared at the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.’s wastewater treatment plant in Sadog Tasi yesterday. It has yet to be determined whether the cause of the sinkhole was result of the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that occurred last Monday night.(CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. uncovered a sinkhole at one of its wastewater plants located in Sadog Tasi early yesterday morning.

Early yesterday morning, CUC personnel stationed at one of CUC’s wastewater plants in Sadog Tasi came in to work and were greeted by a massive sinkhole that completely devoured an entire backhoe. The heavy equipment machinery could not be recovered.

In a brief conversation with Gary Camacho, CUC’s executive director, he is unsure if the 5.8-magnitude earthquake felt at around 10:56pm last Monday evening may have caused the sinkhole.

However, Camacho said he wants to ensure the public that the safety of surrounding residents and CUC personnel are of utmost priority.

Although the cause of the sinkhole has yet to be determined, Camacho said CUC is on top of it and has contacted multiple engineering firms to help them determine the root cause of the sinkhole.

According to an official press release from CUC, the sinkhole that suddenly appeared in the vicinity of the Sadog Tasi Wastewater Treatment Plant and remains under investigation is estimated to be around 50 feet in diameter.

The press release stated that management was made aware of the sinkhole at approximately 11:37am yesterday morning.

Fortunately, all individuals who work at the plant have been accounted for with no injuries to report and the area has been secured.

In addition, no water or sewer services were affected by the sinkhole and all septic haulers have been redirected to an alternative site per proper disposal of wastewater.

CUC advises the public to refrain from entering the premises due to the immediate safety hazard.

Updates will follow as soon as they become available.

Meanwhile, the earthquake that may or may not have caused the 50-foot-wide sinkhole was reportedly of 5.8-magnitude according to the National Weather Service based off of Tiyan, Guam.

The earthquake occurred about 18 miles south of Rota at 10:56 pm ChST last Monday night with a depth of around 70 miles.

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said no Tsunami threat to Guam and CNMI according to all available data.

According to a local resident who lives in Garapan, she was sitting in her living room when the earthquake occurred.

“I was reading a book when I suddenly felt my couch shake. At first it was a mere tremble, but it started to progress in strength until I soon realized it was an earthquake. It lasted about a minute and it got really strong toward the end,” she said.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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