Wednesday 23 August 2017

A sinkhole in Florida threatened to swallow up a neighbourhood

The Sunshine state is no stranger to sinkholes.

Debris is strewn about after a sinkhole damaged two homes in Land O’ Lakes, Florida (Luis Santana/AP)
Debris is strewn about after a sinkhole damaged two homes in Land O’ Lakes, Florida (Luis Santana/AP)

By Isabel Togoh

A 15m-deep, 60m-wide depression swallowed up two homes and a boat in the Florida neighbourhood of Land O Lakes on Friday.

A third home was been threatened by the hole, which was first recorded at 7.30am local time. It has reportedly stopped growing.

No injuries were reported and two dogs were retrieved from one of the homes, before it sank into the ground.

State police evacuated a further 11 homes as the mammoth sinkhole expanded.

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Aerial photo showing debris strewn about after a sinkhole damaged two homes in Land O’ Lakes, Florida (Luis Santana/AP)

Police arrived to a hole the size of a small swimming pool, but it since grew dramatically.

According to property records, the hole had been stabilised in 2012, via an injection of concrete into the ground.

Those who lost their homes are being helped by the American Red Cross.

Sinkholes are a natural occurrence in Florida’s geology, particularly in the central region which has been dubbed “sinkhole valley”. They are aggravated by rainfall and human activity.

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