A residence collapsed due to a large sinkhole that opened in a Russian village.
A sinkhole is a depression in the ground that is triggered by the failure of the surface layer. Most of them are caused by erosion processes and are common in carbonate rocks that dissolve in the presence of water (karst processes). Their size and depth may significantly vary and they are usually bowl-shaped.
Sinkholes are hazardous for human lives and infrastructure. Their formation may lead to structural collapses and can affect buildings, roads, bridges and railways. Usually, the financial cost to repair the damages caused by sinkholes is high.
In mid-October, 2020, a sinkhole that measured 15 and 7,5 meters in diameter and depth, respectively, opened in Vyshkov, a village situated in west Russia near the borders with Belarus. A residence was completely swallowed by the sinkhole and destroyed.
Two people used to live inside the house. One of them managed to escape but the other one (an old woman) was missing and a rescue operation initiated in order to find her. The woman was believed to be inside the house when it collapsed. "She fell underground with the house...We are waiting for specialists from Bryansk. They will dig right now hoping to find her," the other person that was rescued, stated.
An adjacent house is surprisingly standing right next to the sinkhole and does not appear to have suffered structural damage.