A giant sinkhole swallowed a five-lane street in the centre of one of Japan’s biggest cities on Tuesday morning.The collapse began at around 05:00 local time near Hakata Station, the busiest in Fukuoka city inthe southern island of Kyushu.
It began with two smaller holes that grew steadily until they formed one huge depression around 30m wide.
There were no reports of serious injuries but it disrupted power, water, gas and transport links in the area.
Officials quickly got people surrounding the sinkhole to evacuate the area.
But many who were trapped in buildings nearby posted photos of the scene on social media, warning others to stay away.
Broadcaster NHK reported that an elderly lady slipped on some stairs because of the power cut.
Engineering work to extend a nearby underground train line may be related to the sinkhole’s sudden appearance, city officials said.
According to the Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau, the road cave-in occurred after water began flowing beneath the surface during underground tunnel excavation work to extend the Nanakuma subway line.