Geology
52.8k readers

The Worst Sinkhole Disasters of All Time

Updated March 25, 2020 52.8k views20 items

A sinkhole, also known as a swallow hole, shake hole, swallet, or doline, is a depression or hole caused by a collapse of the surface layer of the earth. Sinkholes can range from just one meter (swallowing up a single person walking by on the street) up to hundreds of kilometers, taking out entire cities. They can happen naturally by wind or water erosion, or artificially due to people mining and drilling in unsafe areas.

Whichever the case and whatever the cause, people notice. It's a literal force of nature and it can be terrifying. Though some are later turned into a nice vacation spot. They happen all over the world, on both continents and islands. Below are the worst sinkhole disasters of all time, ranked by users. Vote up the disaster you think was the worst, and keep an eye on the earth beneath you.
Photo:
...more
  • Dazhou, China Sinkhole

    Video: YouTube

    On October 7, 2018, a sinkhole in Dazhou, China, suddenly opened, killing four people. Two victims passed away after rescue workers retrieved them from the sinkhole.

    Two others perished in the sinkhole, and emergency officials found them two days after the initial opening. 

  • Hurricane Agatha Guatemala City Sinkhole

    Disaster struck Guatemala City again in 2010 when, in same region as the sinkhole that opened up in 2007, another sinkhole swallowed an entire three story building. The ground collapsed approximately 300 feet, according to some sources. 

  • Berezniki Sinkhole

    Video: YouTube

    This sinkhole in the Russian city of Berezniki is ENORMOUS and decades old. It started in 1986 and has been growing every year. As of 2012, it was 340 yards wide, 430 yards long, and 780 feet deep. It's slowly consuming the entire city.

  • Guatemala City Sinkhole

    The people of a Guatemala City were shocked when in late February 2007, an almost perfect circle sinkhole opened up over 300 feet of earth beneath them! That's nearly the size of the Statue of Liberty is high, but... DOWN. Unfortunately three people were killed and many had to be evacuated.