Written by Lahiru Fernando
15 Nov, 2016 | 6:35 pm
Around a week ago, a colossal sinkhole opened up in the heart of Fukuoka, Japan, swallowing parts of the massive four lane main street!
The sinkhole began as 7-to-8-meter smaller holes just 300 meters from the JR Hakata railway station and grew to more than half the size of an Olympic pool (30m), also filled with water from sewage pipes. Luckily and much to everyone’s surprise, no one was injured.
The sinkhole not only hampered the day-to-day activities of the people in Fukuoka, it also threatened to topple nearby buildings and caused power cuts, disrupted phone signals and hampered gas & water supplies.
Japanese media reports said the sinkhole, 30m by 27m and 15 meters deep, was caused by construction work on an extension to an underground line.
The operation to restore the busy stretch of road includes repairs to a sewage pipe, replacing traffic lights and utility poles that were swallowed when the sinkhole opened up shortly after 5 am in Japan on 8 November.
In true Japanese style, the work began with a sincere apology to the people of Fukuoka…
Japanese media reported that workers filled in the section of the road with 6,200 cubic meters of sand and cement.
With the size of the sinkhole and the amount of repairs that need to be done, anyone would think that it would take months of work to restore the section of road back to a 100%.
But this is Japan we are talking about. Defining the phrase “working around the clock” and staying true to the ‘workmanship and efficiency’ the Japanese are known for, the road and utilities were completely restored and running in just 48 hours.
Yes, you read it right. 48 hours. That does not mean that they’ve cut corners to get things up and running as soon as they can either. The mayor of the city Soichiro Takashima has assured that the ground is now “30 times stronger than before”
“I apologize for having caused trouble to many people,” Takashima told reporters.
The road reopened to traffic and pedestrians early today (15 Nov) after local officials declared the repaired stretch safe.
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