Officials in Florida evacuated several homes located four kilometers (about 2.5 miles) from the spot where a sinkhole swallowed and killed a man on the state’s west coast a month ago and another sinkhole was detected nearby in early March.
Given the danger of a third sinkhole opening up, authorities in Hillsborough County recommended that two families living in a duplex that had developed cracked walls and deformed floors evacuate at once.
Images broadcast by local media show the perimeter of the site cordoned off with yellow tape warning people not to get any closer.
Evidently, the people living in the duplex called 911 on Tuesday night to report the problem and firefighters were sent to the scene to evaluate the state of the dwellings and the ground.
The Red Cross provided temporary shelter for the people living in the duplex while experts analyze the condition of the ground on which the homes stand.
Sinkholes are relatively common in Florida because the limestone bedrock erodes easily and subterranean cavities or caverns can be created that, on occasion, collapse, causing the soil above and anything on the surface of the ground to fall into the hole, some of which can be quite deep.