WATCH: Massive sinkhole swallows intersection in Japan
A terrifying scenario right out of an apocalyptic film occurred in a busy Japanese intersection on Tuesday, as a gigantic sinkhole opened up a substantial stretch of the road in the city of Fukuoka.
The enormous gaping hole, which occurred near an underground work on a subway tunnel extension, resulted in loss of power, water and gas supplies in the middle of the business district.
The 7 x 8-meter abyss also sent stoplights and sidewalks tumbling more than 33 feet and even disrupted operations in a nearby airport, according to an LA Times report. It also made several multistory commercial buildings teeter dangerously at the edge of the hole.
Fortunately, no one was reportedly injured from the incident since nearby residents were immediately evacuated, while five major roads were cordoned off in Hakata district.
The sinkhole appeared to be still growing and measured at 30 meters (98 feet) long and 15 meters (49 ft) deep, after swallowing an entire four-lane intersection.
Japanese officials, meanwhile, feared that further erosion inside the sinkhole could prompt the collapse of nearby structures.
“An accident like this is unheard of, one that should not have happened,” Fukuoka Mayor Soichiro Takashima was quoted as saying in the report. “We must prevent secondary accidents, and will do our utmost to restore important infrastructure.”
The cause of the collapse was still under investigation, but officials were linking the disaster to an ongoing subway construction near the vicinity.
The JR Hakata station construction project, which involves extending the city center along a 1.4-kilometer route, is believed to be the culprit.
A smaller sinkhole also appeared in Fukuoka in 2014 at another location of the subway construction.
Fukuoka’s Hakata district is home to more than 1.5 million residents, and is about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) southwest of Tokyo. Khristian Ibarrola
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