Japan fixes city centre sinkhole in just two days

Japanese authorities have repaired the damage caused by a vast sinkhole in Fukuoka city on the southern island of Kyushu in just two days

The sinkhole after its collapse on Nov 8 and its subsequent inundation by drains and sewage lines.
The sinkhole after its collapse on Nov 8 and its subsequent inundation by drains and sewage lines.
The restored road as of today, with everything from traffic lights to road signs re-erected.
The restored road as of today, with everything from traffic lights to road signs re-erected.

Japanese authorities have repaired the damage caused by a vast sinkhole in the centre of Fukuoka city, located on the northern shore of the Japanese island of Kyushu, in just two days.

The 30m-wide, 15m-deep hole opened up in central Fukuoka on the 8th November, thankfully causing no injuries, but prompting concern for the commercial buildings sat precariously on either side.

In a display of Japan’s robust disaster response capabilities, the site was rapidly survyed and work was then carried out round the clock to fill the hole with 6,200m3 of sand and cement and to replace the infrastructure.

The road then reopened to traffic and pedestrians today – delayed only by the mandatory health and safety checks that had to be conducted by local officials before the repaired stretch of road could be declared safe again.

The work included repairs to a large sewage pipe, which was severed and proceeded to fill up the hole, as well as the replacement of the traffic lights and signs that were swallowed by the sinkhole.

The incident caused a range of power cuts and disruptions to phone lines, gas and water supplies.

The mayor of Fukuoka, Soichiro Takashima, said the affected ground was now 30 times stronger than before, adding that a panel of experts would be set up to establish the cause of the cave-in.

While the investigation into the cause is still underway, the city’s government earlier said that it believed the collapse to be connected to construction work on a nearby underground train line.

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