In 2007, a similar hole opened after a sewage pipe broke pipe just a few blocks from this weekend's disaster. Bonis was part of a team of geologists and engineers brought in to investigate and advise officials on what went wrong.
"Our recommendation was that this could happen again," he recalled. "When you have water flowing from storm water runoff, a sewage pipe, or any kind of strong flow, it eats away at the loose material. We don't know how long it has to go on before it collapses. But once it starts collapsing, God help us."
The Guatemala City metro area is home to nearly 3 million people. Not all of them live on the fill - Bonis estimates around 1-1.5 million, with the rest perched on the valley walls - but by mislabeling the feature a sinkhole, it distracts from a dangerous situation that could be mitigated, if not neutralized, by better handling of the city's runoff and waste water.
"I'd hate to have to be in the government right now," Bonis, who worked for the Guatemalan government's Instituto Geografico Nacional for sixteen years, said. "There is an excellent potential for this to happen again. It could happen almost anywhere in the city."