On April 11, 2013, a giant sinkhole appeared in Portugal measuring about 15 meters (49.2 feet) across.
Geologist Vitor Lamberto told The Portugal News that this kind of phenomenon “is typical” in limestone areas and there have been “similar” situations in other places in Portugal, though not as big.
Lamberto said that in these areas there are underground rivers, but when the holes they flow through are too narrow for the quantity of water, some upstream caves fill up and start to dissolve the cave roofs and eventually the roofs cave in, leaving these enormous sink holes.
This has been an extremely wet spring in Portugal, due to the jet stream and Azores anticyclone being much further south than usual, bringing wet weather into Portugal and cold, dry air into the UK, leading to exceptional heath and moor blazes.
Fortunately no buildings we on the site and no animals are thought to have fallen into the opening.
Sinkholes In Russia
April showers and thawing winter ice have created sinkholes in Russia, too. According to the UK Mail Online, the underground caverns beneath the city of Samara, Russia appear to have sprung up in recent weeks, swallowing cars, buses and claiming at least one life. Some of the Russian sinkholes are large enough to engulf an entire truck.
The massive craters have appeared in car parks, busy intersections, by the sides of roads, and on major and minor thoroughfares.
Sinkholes Opening Up All Over The World
In April, 2013, a sinkhole measuring nearly 85 meters wide and 15 meters deep (279 feet wide by 49.2 feet deep) swallowed three houses in a town outside Russia’s fifth-largest city, Nizhny Novgorod as some residents of the small village were sleeping.
A potentially explosive and radioactive sinkhole was discovered on August 3, 2012 near Assumption Parish, Louisiana. After eight months, the sinkhole has now increased to 400 feet deep. Between 100 and 150 homes have been vacated.
On February 28, 2013, several houses in Florida were evacuated as a giant sinkhole about 20 feet wide swallowed a home and its homeowner in Hillsborough County. Florida is highly prone to sinkholes because of the underground prevalence of limestone, a porous rock that easily dissolves in water, creating caverns.
On May 30, 2010, a massive sinkhole in Guatemala City, Guatemala, swallowed an entire three-story building. The sinkhole measured about 60 feet wide and 30 stories deep.
Do you think it’s time we reconsider where we build our houses and cities? As the Earth continues to shift and change, we should consider making some changes, too.