Thursday 26 May 2016

Dozens of cars swallowed by sinkhole in Florence, Italy.

Dozens of cars have been swallowed by a giant sinkhole that opened up on the Lungarno Torrigiani beside the Arno River in Florence on Wednesday 25 May 2016. The whole measured 182 m in length, but only about 7 m across, and opened slightly before 6.15 am local time, swallowing a row of parked cars but not causing any injuries.

The scene of the 25 May 2016 Florence sinkhole. Vigu del Fuoco.

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 proximity of the 25 May 2016 sinkhole to the Arno River. Vigu del Fuoco.

In this case the sinkhole is thought to have been caused by the collapse of a water supply pipe, which was 60 cm in diameter and provided water to homes in the area. An initial split in the pipe is thought to have allowed water to wash away surrounding sediments, causing the overlaying road to collapse onto the pipe. Part of the city around the sinkhole is currently without water, and buildings close to the incident have been evacuated as a precaution.

See also... people evacuated from homes after massive sinkhole opens on Naples Street. Approximately 380 people from 95 families had to be evacuated from their homes after a massive sinkhole opened up in a residential district of Naples on Sunday 22 February 2015. Nobody was injured by the incident, in which a 10 m section of road collapsed abruptly...
Four people are known to have died following landslides in the southern Alps this weekend. On Saturday 15 November 2014 a landslide destroyed... dead in Italian flash flood.                  Four people are known to have died and about twenty more have been injured after a thunderstorm caused a flash flood near Refrontolo in the Veneto Region of northern Italy slightly before midnight on Saturday 2...
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