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Sinkhole swallows building complex in China

Sinkhole swallows building: An enormous sinkhole opened up beneath a building complex in China's southern city of Guangzhou Tuesday, swallowing five shops and one building. 

By Staff / January 29, 2013

A sinkhole swallows an entire building complex in China's southern Guangdong province.

The ground gave way beneath a building complex in Guangzhou, China, on Tuesday afternoon, sending several buildings plunging into the earth, but causing no injuries.

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Relying on reports in Chinese media, the blog Shanghaiist describes the gaping hole as more than 3,200 square feet in area and almost 30 feet deep, and still expanding. 

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the sinkhole opened up near a subway construction site. Workers noticed that the land was sinking and managed to evacuate the 300 or so people inside the buildings before they collapsed. It is not clear whether the construction caused the sinkhole.

Sinkholes are often caused by the underground erosion of salt beds or soluble sedimentary rocks, such as limestone or dolomite. Groundwater flows through these rocks, creating subterranean caverns that can suddenly collapse.

In the past couple of years, large sinkholes have appeared in Guatemala City; TampaFla.Quebec; Milwaukee; as well as Germany and Florida

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