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sinkholes damage

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A sinkhole estimated to be 35ft (9m) wide and 20ft (6m) deep has opened up in a suburban road in Hertfordshire, causing 17 houses to be evacuated.

The hole in Oatridge Gardens, Hemel Hempstead appeared at about 07:30 GMT.

Structural engineers and utility companies are at the scene of the cul-de-sac to assess the situation.

"It was a bit of a shock having the police knock on the front door at that time on a Saturday morning," said Max Green, who lives in a flat on the road.


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A 15ft-deep sinkhole has closed the M2 - and experts claim the wet weather could be to blame.

Dozens of engineers are investigating the hole near Sittingbourne in Kent but the Highways Agency is refusing to state when the motorway could reopen.

It is unlikely to be in time for this morning's rush hour.

"We're not putting a timescale on it at the moment," Highways Agency spokesperson Kelly Barnes told Sky News.

"We're investigating the cause and then it's a case of seeing how we repair it. 

"One of the main reasons we closed the motorway, which we never do lightly, is for safety reasons.

"People should anticipate that it will remain closed overnight and into rush hour on Wednesday.


Wednesday 12th 2014




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A sinkhole has swallowed eight rare automobiles at a sports car museum in the US state of Kentucky.

No injuries were reported when the ground caved in at the National Corvette Museum in the city of Bowling Green in the early hours of Wednesday.

Despite the hole, estimated to be 40ft (12m) wide and 30ft deep, parts of the museum remain open, said a spokeswoman.

Bowling Green is the only place where automobile-maker General Motors builds the Corvette sports car.

Two of the damaged cars - a 2009 ZR1 Blue Devil and a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder - were on loan to the museum from the company.

Six other cars owned by the museum were damaged by the sinkhole: a 1984 PPG Pace Car; a 1962 black Corvette; a 1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette; a 1992 White 1 Millionth Corvette; a 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette; and a 2009 white 1.5 Millionth Corvette.





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Wall collapses at Chatham Theatre Royal site



Part of a building attached to a former theatre has collapsed and two sinkholes have appeared on fields following heavy rain and strong winds in Kent.

Medway Council said the rear wall of the Bank Chambers building, attached to the old Theatre Royal, collapsed just after 23:00 GMT on Thursday.

The structure fell into Hawkins Way car park, leaving three stories of the building in Chatham exposed.

Geologists are being consulted over a sinkhole at a school in Gillingham.

Pupils at the Rainham Mark Grammar School have been told to stay away from the hole, near the sports hall of the school in Pump Lane, Gillingham.

The school said it had contacted the council, civil engineers and the British Geological Society for advice.

Another hole has also appeared at Gillingham Anchorians Rugby Club grounds in Darland Avenue, Gillingham, where the pitches are waterlogged.

The Bank Chambers building was being converted into shops and apartments.


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"It's like this thing was alive…it was churning, moving around…making noises, you know…like a growl."

It's an image that still haunts police officer Deputy Douglas Duvall who, on the evening of 28 February 2013, responded to an emergency call in the suburban calm of Tampa, and found himself face to face with the Florida underworld.

Inside a detached bungalow, the ground had opened and swallowed the sleeping body and the bed of 37 year-old Jeff Bush.

His brother Jeremy was frantically trying to dig him out, but Jeff's body was sucked into the depths and never found.

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  • Jeff Bush was asleep at his Florida home when a sinkhole opened up under his bedroom
  • His brother Jeremy jumped into the hole and attempted to dig him out
  • At the time, Jeremy said: "The floor was still giving in and the dirt was still going down, but I didn't care. I wanted to save my brother"
  • [*]
Horizon: Swallowed by a Sinkhole [*]Driveway sinkhole woman 'lucky'

Only the efforts of first responder Douglas Duvall hauling Jeremy out of the churning pit prevented a second tragedy.

The natural trapdoor that opened up and claimed the life of Jeff Bush is called a "sinkhole". It is far from the only case.

In the last few years, vast sinkholes have appeared overnight from as far afield as China and Guatemala, but it's Florida where the fear is greatest.

Just last August, a resort complex near Disney World collapsed into a huge 20m hole.

It was to investigate this devastating phenomenon that I travelled to Florida to try to understand what caused the sinkhole that killed Jeff, and why the geology of this state makes it the sinkhole capital of the world.

It's possible to explore some of these natural shafts and descend within the voids beneath, at places like Ladder Cave in Citrus County.

Here you can see how acid-tinged rain and ground water slowly eats away at limestone bedrock below, producing cavities in the subsurface.

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A large sinkhole has appeared in part of the Peak District in Derbyshire. The hole, which eye witnesses said measures about 160ft (49m) wide, has opened up in the village of Foolow.

Caver Mark Noble, 58, from Eyam, said he saw the hole during a walk on Christmas Day, but believes the land began to fall the day before.

He said he has explored the caves at Foolow in the past as huge cavities were left in the area from an old lead mine.



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'Sixth Sinkhole' Leaves House Close To Collapse


Three homes have been evacuated over fears one was in danger of collapse after a sinkhole - the UK's sixth in a month - opened up.


A cordon has been put in place to protect members of the public in Magdalen's Road in Ripon, North Yorkshire, after police were alerted at about 5.40pm on Monday.


No injuries have been reported at this stage and police officers are going from house to house to warn residents close to the affected properties.


Firefighters, ambulance crews, utilities engineers and structural engineers are also at the scene.



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A LARGE sinkhole has developed near Galmoy Mine in Co Kilkenny, it

The Department of Energy and Natural Resources confirmed the existence of the sinkhole this afternoon.The hole is 15m in circumference and 9m deep.However there is no immediate danger to the public - the field and a small minor road beside it have been closed off.Engineering experts have been called in and a number of assessments are being carried out to determine what caused the sinkhole, and if there are any dangers of it expanding further.Kilkenny County Manager Joe Crockett told RTE news all proper procedures were followed."It was noticed on Saturday morning by the landowner who notified the mining company."The main question is the risk to public safety, and if there are further risks presented. The assessments done to date indicate there are no risks."url=""]http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/sinkhole-develops-near-major-zinc-mine-in-co-kilkenny-30016772.html

Edited by Love Snow

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British sinkhole spike prompts warning

David Shukman

Science editor

4 hours ago

The large crack opened on a house in Ripon after a 25ft-wide sinkhole opened up in the street

Britain is likely to face the strange and disturbing threat of more sinkholes opening up in the weeks and months ahead.

The warning comes from the British Geological Survey (BGS), which has been studying a recent spate of collapses across the country.

In a typical year, geologists would expect to see one or two sinkholes appearing, but this month's tally has reached six so far.

Dr Tony Cooper of the British Geological Survey told me that some areas of the country are more susceptible than others, depending on the type of rock involved.

Gypsum is vulnerable to being rapidly eroded by water - and this is what underlies Ripon where a house collapsed when a sinkhole appeared this morning.

Dr Cooper said: "If you took a chunk of gypsum the size of a van and left it in a river it would be dissolved in about 18 months."

Another key factor is the nature of the geology itself: Some rocks host networks of natural caverns while others are riddled with old mineshafts.

Depending on the soil and rock suspended above of these cavities, a sudden incursion of water from heavy rainstorms can lead to massive strains and, ultimately, to collapse.

One particularly large sinkhole opened in Hemel Hempstead on Saturday - and the hole has expanded since then.

As many as 20 families have been forced to evacuate, 12 because their homes are deemed to be unsafe and the rest because gas supplies have had to be cut off.

Concrete solution

The hole itself runs under the corner of a house and under part of road. The tarmac has collapsed and the bare earth lies exposed.

The engineer brought in to examine the site, Clive Edmunds, told me he was hoping to fill the hole with concrete later this week.

"We estimate that it will need between 100-200 cubic metres of concrete - which is equivalent to 10-20 truck loads but there may be connections to further voids below," he said.

The house above the hole is still standing but there are fears that it may collapse soon. The road beside it is slightly buckled.

Such is the danger that neighbours were warned to leave so rapidly, many have had to abandon cars in their driveways.

Another, 35ft-wide, hole opened up in Hemel Hempstead at the weekend

Although sinkholes open up for all kinds of reasons, by far the most common cause is a sudden influx of water.

This winter's rain is the obvious suspect and its effects look set to continue.

Dr Cooper believes further sinkholes are likely and not only because of the saturated ground.

"I do expect to see more of these - we are seeing a much higher rate than normal," he said.

One cause can be changes in the flow of groundwater, including when it is drained away which means the process of drying out may trigger another spate of these strange threats.

Even at a safe distance, the sinkhole at Hemel Hempstead was a surprisingly frightening sight.

One of life's greatest certainties is that the ground is solid beneath one's feet so the sudden appearance of chasms, however small, is unsettling.

The 20 families who have to move out of their homes in Hemel Hempstead have no idea how long they will need to stay away.

The housing association which runs the estate hopes the first families will be allowed back in a week but officials acknowledge it may take much longer.

This is shaping up to be yet another painful legacy of Britain's winter of storms.

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A 6m (20ft) deep hole has appeared in a road in Kent where residents were forced to leave their homes four years ago because of sudden subsidence.

Six families had to abandon their homes in Victoria Street, Broadstairs, in 2009 and only returned in 2012.

The hole was found beneath a manhole by Southern Water during routine maintenance work before Christmas but has since got larger.

Kent County Council said a survey would be carried out on Monday.

Residents in the street, which is built on the site of a former chalk quarry, say the void is much wider than the opening at the top and goes down to a depth of 6m (20ft).

'Thin layer'

Jill Roach, who was allowed back into her home in July 2012, said: "It was really just like a shaft but as time has gone on it has got bigger and deeper.

"There is only a thin layer of tarmac over that and then there is a big void underneath.

"It is obviously concerning, as what would happen if the tarmac gave way because there are so many sinkholes appearing everywhere?"

The hole has been cordoned off by Southern Water.

In a statement, the firm said: "We discovered the subsidence when carrying out routine leak detection work.

"None of our underground pipes in the area would have caused this subsidence and there are no leaks on our water mains which would have contributed.

"We put barriers up as a health and safety precaution as we did not want to leave the site unguarded."

Russell Boorman, from Kent County Council, said: "A geo-technical survey will be carried out to determine the cause and extent of the void so that it can be fixed as quickly as possible."

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A large sinkhole has appeared in part of the Peak District in Derbyshire. The hole, which eye witnesses said measures about 160ft (49m) wide, has opened up in the village of Foolow.Caver Mark Noble, 58, from Eyam, said he saw the hole during a walk on Christmas Day, but believes the land began to fall the day before.He said he has explored the caves at Foolow in the past as huge cavities were left in the area from an old lead mine.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-25554549

I have just got back after being taken down Glebe mine by my brother who works there, amazing to see from below and a good job the mine was shut for Christmas as at least 3 would of been killed in that part of the shaft ! And from what I saw and was told today at 200m down this sunk due to new workings..Not old ! Edited by Polar Maritime

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 I blame global warming.


or it could just be all them old mines now falling in after years of rot and neglect.

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