Sunday, March 3, 2013

It's 'sinkhole season'

It's the stuff of nightmares: last week, the ground opened up and swallowed a Florida man as he lay sleeping in his home. Sinkholes are much more than holes in the ground. A sinkhole, also known as a sink, snake hole, swallow hole, swallet, doline, or cenote, is a natural depression or hole in the Earth's surface. Demolition crews in Florida are hoping to get a better look at the gaping, 50-foot sinkhole that swallowed a man. Sinkhole claims jumped from 2360 in 2006 to 6694 in 2010, the last year such data was collected, at a cost of $1.4 billion.

As crews entombed a man who was swallowed by a sinkhole near Tampa, the earth opened up again just a few miles away.  After a 100-foot deep crater swallowed a home and killed one man, a new hole opened nearby. A home where a sinkhole opened up, swallowing one man, was demolished on Sunday. Sinkholes are a common feature of Florida's landscape. They are only one of many kinds of karst landforms, which include caves
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