Sunday 8 October 2017

Sinkhole swallows two cars in Perth, Western Australia.

Two cars were swallowed by a sinkhole that opened up at about 3.00 am local time on Sunday 8 October 2017, in the Kingsley suburb of Perth, Western Australia. One of the cars was towed out of the hole, but the other had to be lifted out with a crane after it was discovered that it was resting on a gas main.

Car trapped in a sinkhole in Kingsley, Perth, on 8 October 2017. Julian Roberts/ABC News.

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 8 October 2017 Perth sinkhole. Google Maps.

On this occasion, however, the hole is believed to have been caused by a burst water main that washed away soft sediments beneath the road. The event also caused flooding locally, with water described as knee deep entering one home, and properties over a wider area left without water supplies.

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