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August 21, 2013

Shenzhen has had a startling number of sinkholes in recent months, and now it has another to add to the list: the latest opened up in Yantian District on Saturday morning (Aug. 17) swallowing two vehicles. Fortunately nobody was seriously injured. This one was 30 square metres in size and five metres deep and, like the last sinkhole in Shenzhen at the start of this month, locals had previously warned authorities that something similar was liable to happen and were ignored, Southern Metropolis Daily reports.  Local residents near the scene of the sinkhole on Yankui Road had noticed several road signs had been collapsing in recent weeks and that sediment had slid onto a nearby basketball court from the road. Geng Xueming was driving a delivery truck at 6:15 a.m. when the ground opened up beneath his vehicle. He told reporters that he climbed out himself before calling the police. The vehicles were lifted out by crane and the road was cordoned off. Deputy Mayor Lu Ruifeng arrived at the scene that afternoon to oversee the investigation, which found the culvert under the road, which was built in 1983, needed to be renovated. A collapsing culvert was also the cause of a sinkhole in Granby, Massachussets in the United States last week. The Shenzhen Meterological Bureau pointed to the fact that the Xiaomeisha area where the accident took place has seen some of the heaviest rain in the city over the past week, which of course increases the likelihood of a sinkhole. Headlines were made around the world when a 26 year-old security guard was fatally swallowed up by a sinkhole in Futian District in March and when five died in a sinkhole in Longgang District in May. But, to have a sense of perspective, sinkholes are far from a major cause of death, even in Shenzhen. Nanfang Insider

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