Image: Kyodo via Reuters
Earlier this morning, a gigantic sinkhole appeared on a busy road in downtown Fukoka, Japan. The gaping hole swallowed part of a five-lane street near the main railway station. The horrifying incident caused multiple power failures and traffic disruption.
According to local media, the road caved in at around 5.15am local time. The hole measured about 20m by 15m and exposed support columns of nearby buildings, prompting fears of further collapses.
“It was a bit dark outside, and my first impression was, ‘Is the road really falling?’” a young man who saw the sinkhole form told public broadcaster NHK. “When I saw it, two holes were already there, and they continued to grow bigger. I got scared the most when a traffic light fell at an intersection close to where I was standing. I felt I have to get out of here,” he told NHK.
By 9am, the sinkhole has expanded 20m in every direction and was two storeys deep, causing the entire road intersection to be inaccessible. The hole is filled with water flowing from multiple broken pipes and has caused a power outage to over 800 households. So far no injuries or casualties has been reported.
Fukoka’s transport bureau said that the sinkhole could be caused by an ongoing extension to a nearby subway line.