A large sinkhole has appeared underneath a house in Hemel Hampsted, Hertfordshire. Police and other emergency services have responded to the finding.
Seventeen properties were evacuated yesterday after the sinkhole was found on Saturday at around 07:30. The properties were based on a residential cul de sac and are considered unsafe to live in.
The Hertfordshire police said in a statement, “[the hole] has mainly affected the road”.
Britain has started to experience a wave of similar circumstances leading to sinkholes occurring all over the country. This is as a result of soluble rock being present underground. Considerable rainfall is a factor in whether the sinkhole opens or not. This is because the rainfall becomes more acidic when it hits the ground as well as being slightly acidic when in the atmosphere. This water then dissolves the rock in the ground and causes a recession of ground underneath the area. Where the surface is covered by houses or roads, the hole may not open for some time as the material is temporarily able to support itself. It is thought that the current high levels of rainfall were highly influential for the occurrence of the sinkhole. When the material gives way, the sinkhole becomes visible.
The hole is 35ft wide and 20ft deep.
“Police are working withh partner agencies … to assess the situation”