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Huge Sinkhole Swallows Cars, Forces Families To Evacuate Homes In Rome |RN

Chris Baynes
a store inside of a building         © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited

 

Dozens of families have been evacuated from their homes after a huge sinkhole opened up in Rome, swallowing six cars.

Pictures showed the vehicles lying at the bottom of a 30ft chasm in the Italian capital’s north-west Baldunia neighbourhood.

Parked cars were sucked into the cavernous hole and about 60 people were forced to evacuate their homes when part of a road crumbled.

Construction work had been carried out nearby for months and residents said they had felt their houses shake in the days before the collapse.

One woman told Italian state broadcaster Rai: “In the last days while the workers were working, I felt the floor of the house tremble and we were very worried.”

Her son added: “We residents feared problems… It is a miracle that there are no injuries.”

About 22 families were evacuated by firefighters following the collapse at about 6pm on Wednesday. Police closed the road and ambulances also attended, although no one is thought to have been hurt.

Evacuated residents will be put up in hotels until safety checks on their apartment buildings have been carried out.

The cause of the sinkhole is under investigation. Repairs were carried out in the area late last month after a large water leak, thought to have been caused by the construction work.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office reportedly launched an investigation into possible criminal negligence.   (The Independent)

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Colombia: 154 Die After Rivers Overflow, Toppling Homes | The Republican News

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By CHRISTINE ARMARIO
UPDATE:

The president of Colombia says the death toll from a water avalanche has risen to 154.

EARLIER:

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — An avalanche of water from three overflowing rivers swept through a small city in Colombia while people slept, destroying homes and killing at least 127 unsuspecting residents, authorities said Saturday.

The incident triggered by intense rains happened around midnight in Mocoa, a city of about 40,000 tucked between mountains near Colombia’s southern border with Ecuador.

Muddy water and debris quickly surged through the city’s streets, toppling homes, ripping trees from their roots, lifting cars and trucks and carrying them downstream. Many of the residents did not have enough time to climb on top of their roofs or seek refuge on higher ground.

According to the Red Cross, 400 people are injured and 220 believed missing. President Juan Manuel Santos declared a state of emergency and warned the death toll could rise.

“We don’t know how many there are going to be,” he said of the fatalities when he arrived at the disaster zone. “We’re still looking.”

Witnesses described feeling buildings vibrate and though an alarm reportedly went off to alert residents it could not be heard throughout the city. Videos residents posted online showed vast areas filled with wood planks and debris. Some could be heard calling out the names of people missing.

“In the middle of the night and this morning people lost loved ones,” Minister of Interior Juan Fernando Cristo said. “They lost families, boys, girls, young people, the elderly,”

The Red Cross planned to set up a special unit in Mocoa Saturday afternoon to help relatives search for their loved ones.

“In this moment, it’s chaos,” said Oscar Forero, a spokesman with the Colombian Red Cross. “There are many people missing.”

Herman Granados, an anesthesiologist at the local hospital, said he arrived early Saturday morning and worked throughout the night on victims. He said the hospital doesn’t have a blood bank large enough to deal with the magnitude of the crisis and was quickly running out of supplies.

He said some of the hospital workers came to help even while there are own relatives remained missing.

“Under the mud,” he said, “I am sure there are many more.”

AP

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