Traffic today is not following normal patterns in the bustling urban center of Fukuoka, Japan after a terrifying sinkhole claimed five lanes of city streets. The sinkhole, which left the surrounding buildings intact, measured 98-feet-long, 88-feet-wide, and nearly 50-feet-deep, exposing underground pipes and electrical infrastructure. No injuries have been reported and local authorities have responded quickly to assess the damage and begin to plan a solution.

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Fukuoka city officials reported that the sinkhole may be attributed to ongoing construction on the city’s subway lines. A project is underway to expand the subway network beneath the city streets, but it’s safe to say this side effect was not part of the plan. The collapse, which occurred shortly after 5 a.m. local time, caused power outages and kicked off a massive evacuation of the immediate area, in an attempt to keep the public safe from other ramifications, such as additional sinkholes or explosions from gas leaks. No serious injuries were reported, though.

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Fukuoka, located in southern Japan, is the nation’s fifth largest city with 5.6 million residents. As part of the city’s growth, which has been booming in recent years, the local government is in the process of expanding the subway system to better serve its residents and commuting workers. Those plans backfired when construction allegedly kicked off the sinkhole, which began before dawn and grew until it had consumed all five lanes of the city street by mid-morning. Locals report hearing “a loud boom” when the sinkhole opened up directly in front of the main railway station serving the city.

Via Business Insider

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