Friday 18 March 2016

Sinkhole in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, forces residents to flee homes.

Residents of a street in the village of Plains in North Lanarkshire have been forced to flee their homes after a sinkhole opened up on the road overnight between Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 17 March 2016. The hole is about 10 m wide and about 3 m deep, and has not at this time caused structural damage to any homes at this time; the evacuations have been carried out in case there is damage to underground gas or water mains or the sinkhole expands further.

Sinkhole in Plains, North Lanarkshire, on 17 March 2016. PressTeam Scotland.

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 cause of the Plains sinkhole has not yet been established, though it is thought to ba associated with heavy rainfall in the area earlier this week, which may have affected old mine-workings beneath the area.

Ground collapses thought to be associated with old mine workings, collapsed mines or mine entrances, unsealed mine entrances or gas or water emissions from old mine workings in the UK can be reported to the  Coal Authority here.

See also... 1.1 Earthquake in North Lanarkshire, Scotland.                         The British Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 1.1 Earthquake at a depth of about 7 km about 1 km to the southwest of the town of Shotts in North...

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