A massive sinkhole has disrupted various public services and forced people to evacuate from a leading commercial district in Fukuoka City, western Japan.
A section of a road caved in near JR Hakata station early Tuesday morning. Water from ruptured pipes is flowing into the sinkhole, which is 27 meters wide and 30 meters long.
Police have cordoned off the area, and city officials have advised people to leave nearby buildings. They say one woman in her 70s was slightly injured when she slipped on the stairs of a nearby building hit by a power outage.
Fukuoka city officials say subway construction work that was underway at the site was likely to blame for the cave-in. They say they will do their utmost to prevent secondary disasters.
The city’s transportation bureau says workers were digging an underground tunnel for the subway early in the morning, but suspended the work when water began flowing in.
Up to 800 houses and offices lost power at one point.
Gas supplies have been halted to check for leaks. Disruptions have also been reported in water supplies, phone and Internet connections, and banking services.
Source: NHK Image: Asahi