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Giant sinkhole swallows Japan city street


TOKYO (AFP) – A giant sinkhole appeared in the middle of a busy Japanese city on Tuesday, swallowing part of a five-lane street near the main railway station.

The gaping hole, around 20 meters (66 feet) by 15, exposed support columns of nearby buildings at a traffic intersection in the southern city of Fukuoka, prompting fears of further collapses.

TV footage showed two separate holes steadily expanding as they sucked in asphalt and soil in front of the city’s Hakata Station, sometime after 5am (4am Manila time).

The hole continued to expand and by midmorning was around two stories deep, and filling with water from broken pipes.

Police, who had cordoned off the area and evacuated local buildings said there had been no reports of any injuries.

Fukuoka’s transport bureau said the ongoing extension to a nearby subway line could be related to the creation of the sinkhole.