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Mon, 16 Jan 2017
The World for People who Think



Massive earth crack opens up in Northern Cape, South Africa

© Facebook.com/HendrikvanHunks Photography
A massive sinkhole has been spotted in the Northern Cape along the R31 between Daniëlskuil and Kuruman.
A massive sinkhole has been spotted in the Northern Cape along the R31 between Daniëlskuil and Kuruman.

The sinkhole is on what appears to be a farm and near the road.

The road between Kuruman and Danielskuil has been closed due to the sinkhole.

Comment: Some other signs of earth 'opening up' in recent times include:


50-feet wide, 80-foot deep sinkhole closes car dealership in northeast California

© Laura Elliot/The Union
Recent storms have challenged Northern California's five-year drought, but Mother Nature has wreaked havoc on roads and property.

The doors were shuttered on Wednesday and Thursday at Liberty Motors, where a huge sinkhole opened near the parking lot behind the dealership and its former building next door, which was recently sold to Tripp's Auto Body. Liberty Motors and Tripp's resides on top of a culvert that failed. The culvert is a tributary to Little Wolf Creek.

While it hasn't been established for certain that weather is to blame, it also isn't the first to open this week. A sinkhole about 15 feet in diameter opened underneath The Stonehouse in Nevada City on Tuesday.

"The exact cause is something we're still trying to determine, but due to it failing, it's created a sinkhole about 80 to 100 feet deep, probably 60-by-50 at the top, so it's a fairly big hole at this point in time," said Tim Kiser, the public works director for the City of Grass Valley.

"At this time, we're trying to secure the site and remove a couple of trees that are in the hole, and then formulate a plan on what we'll do from there. Right now safety is No. 1; keeping this area safe and preventing any further damage."

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Massive sinkhole closes road in San Francisco Bay Area

A massive sinkhole caused the collapse and closure of Alhambra Valley Road, near Pinole and Richmond, on Wednesday, according to the Contra Costa County Department of Public Works.

The road was closed indefinitely after the pavement and earth below it crumbled and washed away, leaving a large gap on a popular roadway in the East Bay.

"This route to DVC, for me, cuts a 22-mile commute to 13 miles, so that's crazy," said Andony Husary of Pinole.

Drivers were forced onto alternate routes as crews scrambled to repair the road.

"The Pinole Creek, it runs right through there," Pinole resident Jeremy Gomez said. "There's probably a 6 to 8-foot drainage pipe under there. Obviously it went out. It's crazy, real deep. I don't know how they're going to fix it."

County officials also closed several other roads Wednesday because of mudslides and flooding. Another sinkhole opened in Orinda after heavy rains washed away part of a culvert near Miner and Camino Pablo roads.

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Giant sinkhole swallows two cars in Pennsylvania

© Joe and Diane Sergi
Two vehicles were swallowed up by a giant sinkhole caused by a water main break in Fishtown.

Officials say the 6-inch main broke around 9:30 a.m. Sunday in the 2300 block of Boston Street. Neighbors say they woke up to water rushing into their basements, low presser and some spilling out of pipe covers on the sidewalks.

The break caused a large section of street to collapse, and two SUVs that were parked along the road went into the hole. "I just heard a really like a really loud bang. It startled me, woke me up from my sleep." "It sounded like a bunch of snow falling off a roof almost."

But neighbors say this isn't a shock. "About two months ago or so, there was a water main break, with all the mud like it is now. I had a feeling it might happen again this winter."

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Vacant house collapses into sinkhole in Martins Ferry, Ohio

The city of Martins Ferry is working to repair another sinkhole after a house collapsed into one last weekend.
The city of Martins Ferry is working to repair another sinkhole after a house collapsed into one last weekend.

Earlier, a sinkhole emerged on 8th Street, and while the city has been busy working on acquiring funding to fix that hole, an empty house collapsed on another lot just before Christmas.

Harry Miller lives next to the house that sunk in during the weekend. During the past 6 years, he's watched the ground below it slowly fall away.

"Oh it's been unreal," he said. "You never know when your house is going to fall in. I don't know what ours is doing "

The house is vacant after the city acquired it in a settlement nearly 2 years ago. Repairs were initially attempted when the problem first started, but nothing seemed to work. Now the city must fill the gaps.

"Under emergency situation, we have to tear that house down," Martins Ferry Mayor Robert Krajnyak said. "After the house is gone, repairs will be made to the culvert that's there."

"They have to fix it someway, otherwise it's going to keep washing out," Miller said.

Krajnyak says despite neighbor's concerns, he doesn't' think the hole poses a risk to surrounding homes.

They're in the process of securing funding to fix it. However, there won't be any buildings on the lot in the foreseeable future. He says the lot will be sold as a side lot.

They're moving along quickly in the grant process, and Krajnyak says he's feeling pretty positive about it.

Comment: Massive 35-yard long sinkhole opens in Martins Ferry, Ohio

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Massive sinkhole opens up in Fraser, Michigan

© Mike Campbell/WWJ Newsradio 950
A massive sinkhole in a residential neighborhood north of Detroit forced families to make emergency evacuations over the Christmas weekend.

Residents of more than a dozen homes in Fraser, Michigan, evacuated after the sinkhole was discovered Saturday under one home, according to city officials.

Fraser resident Sue Albu said she woke up Christmas Eve to the sound of splintering brick around her home.

"Loud noises, cracking throughout the evening," Albu told local ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV of the sound. "They got progressively greater."

Alba's neighbor, Derek Loewen, and his father ran over to help, grabbing whatever they could of Alba's belongings to take out of the house.

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Huge sinkhole opens up on road in Phillipsburg, New Jersey

© Steve Novak
A workers on Dec. 23, 2016, climbs down into to a large sinkhole that opened days earlier on Lopatcong Township's Wordsworth Lane, the same street where a snow plow was almost swallowed by a sinkhole in 2015
Santa has more than stockings to fill on Wordsworth Lane.

A huge sinkhole opened this week on the Lopatcong Township road -- nearly in the same spot where the earth almost swallowed a snow plow in 2015.

"I keep having visions of some 'Far Side' cartoon," 63-year-old Dave Thomas quipped Friday evening as workers tended to the maw at the end of his driveway. "We'll either be living on top of a tiny spike of land ... or in the middle of a lake."

Mayor Tom McKay estimated the hole was 20 feet wide and eight to 10 feet deep when it opened Thursday morning, fortunately before any school buses went down the road.

Residents said the water company, Aqua New Jersey, was fixing a leak in the water main on Wednesday that lead to the bigger problem.

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Water Authority: 50-foot sinkhole collapsing neighborhood road in Pennsylvania 'naturally occurring'


A massive sinkhole opened up in a State College neighborhood, leaving dozens of residents without water. Monday, crews remained on scene to clean the mess and repair the damage.

The State College Borough Water Authority said the hole was 50 feet wide and 25 feet deep. It formed on Brittany Drive in the Park Forest neighborhood. The authority doesn't know exactly what caused the sinkhole to open because everything underground was completely washed away when they arrived on scene Sunday.

Crews will repair four pipes underground - the sewer line, sewer laterals, water main and water service line.

The Water Authority said water was restored to the 21 homes affected by the incident around 3:00 p.m. on Monday. Those homes will remain under a boil water notice until Wednesday.

Neighbors who were home when the sinkhole formed said they didn't hear anything, but did see water flowing down the street in that area earlier in the day.

"We saw a whole bunch of brown, muddy water flowing down the street and when we came up, it's right across the street from us, we saw it just flowing out of a lump on the ground," Nevin King, who lives nearby, said.

Comment: On December 20th, the local water authority reported that the sinkhole was naturally occurring and not a result of leaking water pipes:
The water authority said after an investigation that their tank levels and pumping times were normal. That means there is no evidence of a leak causing a sinkhole.
See: Sinkholes: The groundbreaking truth


Crumbling coastline: Dangerous sinkhole opens on cliff in Pacifica, California

A hazardous sinkhole emerged on a cliff in Pacifica Saturday, closing access to a popular beach and causing concerns about recurring erosion due to heavy rains and high waves.

A barricade and sign closing off beach access was erected Saturday. It's an issue residents of the area have grown accustomed to over the years.

"It's a constant battle," neighbor Gary Tiggs said. "If you look at the sidewalk over there, it's very narrow. It's just a shadow of what it was years ago."

The latest sinkhole may have been caused by some of the biggest waves of the year, known as King Tides. Such tides are expected to peak Tuesday or Wednesday, according to weather reports.

"I'm always ready to jump back because it can just fall at a moment's notice," Tiggs said about the cliff area. "And just because there's a sidewalk there, it doesn't mean it won't fall."

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30-foot wide, 20-foot deep sinkhole at condo complex causes evacuation near Florida's Disney World

A sinkhole opened Friday at a gated condo complex near Walt Disney World, prompting the evacuation of 16 units and more than 30 residents at Bahama Bay II, Osceola County sheriff's deputies said.

It formed outside one of the buildings near the lake. The hole, estimated at 30 feet wide and 20 feet deep, opened at 9121 Calypso Court in Kissimmee. Deputies said officials determined that the structure is not safe and ordered the evacuations.

"I woke up early this morning and had one of the neighbors knock on the door, telling us that we had a sinkhole in the backyard. When I looked out the sliding door it was actually about a good ten feet wide, five feet deep," said Danny, who only wanted to give his first name.

He said he was able to grab some personal belonging before he had to leave, now he's not sure where he's going to stay. "We're waiting to see what they're going to do about giving us an open unit. If not, we'll probably have to go to a hotel. I don't know if they're going to be paying or what's going to happen," he said.