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March 1st, 2013
05:00 PM ET

How do sinkholes happen?

Sinkholes happen fairly often in Florida. But rarely do they occur with such drama.

A 36-year-old man is presumed dead after a sinkhole suddenly opened beneath his bedroom Thursday night. The victim's brother says the crash of the collapse sounded like a car driving through the house.

The sinkhole in suburban Tampa was originally reported to be 100 feet (30 meters) across. An engineer says that is actually the diameter of the safety zone, while the sinkhole is about 20 to 30 feet across.

Sinkholes can suddenly happen when bedrock dissolves but the surface stays intact. The void eventually collapses.

Authorities in Florida currently believe this one happened naturally, meaning the rock was probably eroded away by groundwater. Sometimes manmade situations, such as water main breaks, can be responsible.

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Filed under: Weather
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Marcia Stout

    At this time I am living in a home with a sinkhole. My house insurance, Homewise Insurance, has gone bankrupt! Do I risk my familys' lives or my credit? Have not gotten any assistance from the state even with the help of an attorney. Therefore, foreclosure and farewell FL.

    April 6, 2013 at 2:02 am | Reply

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