TIME Japan

That Huge Japanese Sinkhole Is Still Sinking

The city reportedly said this is normal while the sinkhole filling settles

The Japanese city of Fukuoka repaired a gaping sinkhole that appeared earlier this month, but the affected street just started sinking again.

Pavement crumbled away suddenly in early November, leaving the 100-ft.-wide and more than 50-ft.-deep hole in the middle of a busy five-lane street. Within a week, the mayor of Fukuoka said repair crews had filled the hole with sand and repaired the damaged utilities and that the road was 30 times stronger than it had been before the hole.

Over the weekend, though, people saw part of the road sink about 7 cm (2.7 in) at once, CNN reports. Traffic through the sinking area stopped on Saturday, though it has since reopened.

Fukuoka mayor Soichiro Takashima apologized in a Facebook post for not warning residents that the street could sink slightly as the sinkhole filling settles, and added that the street may continue to sink a few more centimeters before the repair is fully compressed. CNN reports that city officials told them the movement was expected.


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