Within two days of swallowing a five-lane city street, a sinkhole in Fukuoka, Japan has been repaired – though, as the Guardian reports, the street’s re-opening was delayed several days for safety reasons. The sinkhole opened up on 8 November, and one week later, the street officially reopened to pedestrian and vehicular traffic with an apology from the city’s mayor.
The 98-foot-long sinkhole in Fukoaka affected a sewage pipe, traffic lights, as well as utility pipes, all of which have been restored with fresh gas and power lines, the Guardian reports.
Local press claim Fukuoka workers filled the urban cavity with 6,200 cubic meters of sand and cement, working around the clock to restore the busy thoroughfare.
Mayor Soichiro Takashima said the street is now 30 times stronger than it was before, adding that the city has assembled a panel of experts to determine what caused the sinkhole. Earlier reports placed blame on construction of new subway lines.
“We’re very sorry for causing great trouble,” the mayor said, according to the Telegraph.
“Sinkholes are common where the rock below the land surface is limestone, carbonate rock, salt beds, or rocks that can naturally be dissolved by groundwater circulating through them,” according to the USGS.
Evaporite rocks, where sinkholes are commonly found, underlie up to 40 percent of US territory.
Via The Guardian
Images via Hideyuki Hongo, USGS