Massive sinkhole takes a bite out of Australia's coastline
Monday, September 28, 2015, 1:20 PM - Hundreds of campers scrambled to safety over the weekend after their picturesque slice of Australian coastline collapsed in a massive sinkhole.
A sinkhole at Inskip Point in the Australian state of Queensland devoured a car, caravan and camping trailer in late Saturday night, and around 300 people who had been camping in the area were evacuated.
Initial reports said one person had to be rescued, but no injuries or deaths have since been reported.
Towing company Clayton's Towing said on Facebook two of its employees had been camping in the area when the three-metre-deep sinkhole opened up, with a "noise like a storm."
"On looking they realized the sand was rapidly disappearing into the ocean at an amazing speed. They only just got their [vehicles] and caravans out with seconds to spare as their campsite disappeared 3 metres down into the ocean," the post reads.
The sinkhole seems to have stopped growing for now, but parks rangers are warning people to stay out of the area.
Sinkholes can be caused by heavy rain causing porous soil or rock to collapse, but the Brisbane Times reports some off-shore seismic activity had been reported in the same area.
In any case, the area is prone to sinkholes. A similar sinkhole occurred on the same stretch of beach in 2011, and geotechnical engineer Allison Golsby says the entire peninsula could eventually be eaten away by them.
"Now that could be thousands of years, it could be hundreds of years," she told ABC Radio, according to the Times.