complex or dangerous situation from which it is difficult to free oneself; a terrible mess that it is hard to get out of
Threatened by failing crops and rising prices, farmers easily fall into the quagmire of debt, from which the only escape often seems to be suicide.
dilemma, predicament, quagmire, quandary
Take into consideration the First three words QUAgmire. The words resemble earth QUAKE. So earth quake is an awkward predicament, where soil sinks under your feet.