Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Three homes evacuated after giant sinkhole appears in South Amboy, New Jersey.

Three homes have been evacuated as a precautionary measure after a giant sinkhole opened up at South Amboy in Middlesex County, New Jersey, on Tuesday 24 March 2015. Residents were woken at about 6.00 am local time by noises that sounded like high winds or heavy vehicles. One man looked outside to see his car had apparently been stolen, but when he went outside to investigate found it had in fact fallen into a six meter deep hole that had opened up behind his property.

Missing vehicle in a sinkhole at South Amboy, New Jersey, on Tuesday 24 March 2015. South Amboy Police Department.

Sinkholes are generally caused by water eroding soft limestone or unconsolidated deposits from beneath, causing a hole that works its way upwards and eventually opening spectacularly at the surface. Where there are unconsolidated deposits at the surface they can infill from the sides, apparently swallowing objects at the surface, including people, without trace. 

The approximate location of the 24 March 2015 South Amboy sinkhole. Google Maps.

On this occasion the hole was reportedly caused by a burst water main beneath the road, that lead to a washout and sinkhole formation some distance downhill. Workers from Middlesex Water reportedly had to remove a large section of road in order to locate and isolate the leak, and teams from the South Amboy Office of Emergency Management, the City Engineer's Office and Middlesex Water are still attempting to determine how to make the area safe.

See also...

A snowplow was swallowed by a sinkhole in a road in Lopatcong, New Jersey, at about 7.30 am local time on Tuesday 17 February 2015. The driver of the plow...

A landslide in the Charles Village neighbourhood of Baltimore has spilled a section of road and several parked cars onto a railway line. Part of East 26th Street Collapsed onto the CSX rail line, which carries containers to Seagirt Marine Terminal from about...

Seven homes were evacuated as a precaution after a sinkhole opened up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on Thursday 20 March 2014, and several...

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