Imagine that you and your friend are peacefully walking on the street when the two of you suddenly fell because a sinkhole has unexpectedly appeared. It would surely give you and your friend the shock of a lifetime and those who saw the incident happen as it was caught on camera.
There have been many events of sinkholes swallowing people or vehicles that are recorded around the world. Sinkholes are formed when the rainwater stays below the surface and dissolved by the groundwater circulating through them.
Pedestrians in China fell in a sinkhole
The CCTV captured a shocking moment when a sinkhole suddenly swallowed two people walking along the pavement.
The two people were walking down the street in Chongqing, a municipality in China, on Monday when the sidewalk suddenly dropped into a deep hole.
The Chinese media reported the incident on Monday, but they did not mention whether the victims were male or female.
Thankfully, both of them survived the fall after being rescued by local firefighters and immediately sent to the hospital.
Furthermore, the state media reported that the road had been sealed off already to keep the area safe while it is being repaired. They also said that the accident might have been caused by the torrential raining in Chongqing in the southwest and Shanghai on the east coast for the past few weeks.
Sinkhole incidents around the world
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), a sinkhole is a depression in the ground without a natural external surface draining. That means when it rains, the water stays inside the ground and then drains into the subsurface.
They are most common on "karst terrains" or regions where the type of rocks underneath the land can be dissolved by groundwater circulating through them. For instance, Florida is an area underlain by limestone, which makes them more susceptible to developing sinkholes.
Earlier this year, in January, China has reported an enormous sinkhole that swallowed a bus and numerous pedestrians and killed six people while 16 of them were injured.
Due to construction works and the rapid pace of China's development, sinkholes are often happening in the country. In 2018, China has witnessed four people being killed when a sinkhole suddenly opened on a busy pavement.
Moreover, in 2013, a sinkhole has also killed five people at an industrial estate in Shenzhen.
But sinkholes do not only happen in China. As mentioned earlier, Florida is prone to sinkholes due to its underground composition. In 2013, a man from Florida fell into a sinkhole that suddenly opened beneath his bedroom of his suburban home in Tampa.
Then just this April, a massive sinkhole swallows a car at Oxford Post Office because of a storm drain pipe located underneath the parking lot. The SUV was immediately removed as engineers assessed the damage caused by the sinkhole.