© Post photo
Locals say 15 sinkholes appeared at Jumleti settlement of Armala VDC in the last three days.
Sinkholes have once again started to appear at Armala VDC in Kaski district, which has prompted some of the locals to leave their houses.

Fifteen sinkholes have developed at Armala in the last three days. Liladhar Acharya, coordinator of the District Disaster Management Committee, said the recent sinkholes have appeared around Jumleti settlement, many of them near the same areas where they had first emerged in 2013.

"With the onset of monsoon, the situation has become more dangerous," Acharya said.

Several farmers at Armala have also been affected because some of the sinkholes have appeared on their farmland.

"The locals had just started working in their fields for plantation when the holes started appearing," Acharya said.

Kamal Karki, a Jumleti local, said the ground in front of his house has started to depress as a result of nearby sinkholes. "My family is afraid that the house might collapse. We are unable to sleep and the continuous rains have made the situation worse."

Sinkholes first started appearing at Armala in November 2013. The incident had displaced dozens of households.

The study conducted by the District Disaster Management Committee had found that around 200 houses at Armala were vulnerable; 109 houses were placed on high-risk status.

The study had also found that the sinkholes were appearing at Armala because the settlement was built on the land that once used to be a riverbed and the pas floods had deposited huge amounts of silt and boulders. After people started settling there, the area saw a sudden increase of human activities and construction works, weakening the surface underneath that is chiefly made of thick deposits of limestone (calcium carbonate). Experts say sinkholes are usually caused when percolating water dissolve the soluble bedrock like limestone.