Tokyo, November 8: Today in Fukuoka, Japan a gigantic sinkhole has opened swallowing huge sections of road including traffic lights, near underground work to extend a subway tunnel, cutting off power, water and gas supplies to parts of the city.
The gaping hole which started off as two smaller holes had now merged into one which is whopping 27 meters wide, 30 meters long and 15 meters deep.
The authorities said no injuries were reported from the pre-sunrise collapse in central Fukuoka, which created a sinkhole more than half the size of an Olympic pool in the middle of the business district.
Fukuoka, a city of more than 1.5 million people, is about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) southwest of Tokyo. The massive cave-in appeared in the city's bustling Hakata district, a major business and entertainment center, with muddy underground water flowing into the hole.
The incident prompted the evacuation of some residents in nearby buildings. Officials were concerned that further erosion inside the sinkhole could prompt nearby structures to collapse. The sinkhole has cut power to roughly 170 households across Fukuoka city. Saibu, a Japan-based gas supplier, is also checking for any gas leakages in the area.
"An accident like this is unheard of, one that should not have happened, "We must prevent secondary accidents, and will do our utmost to restore important infrastructure" Fukuoka mayor Soichiro Takashima said.