A major sinkhole has opened up at Inskip Point in Queensland, Australia around 13:00 UTC on Saturday, September 26, 2015 (23:00 local time).
Police and SES crews were quickly on site, helping those in the immediate vicinity to leave, ABC reported. "A car, caravan and truck were sunk almost immediately. SES volunteer Mark Lawler said other vehicles blocked by trees were expected to go under throughout the night."
Inskip Point sinkhole as seen on September 27, 2015. Image credit: EPA
According to 9News, the hole opened up slowly and was estimated to be about 100 x 100 meters (328 x 328 feet) and around 3 meters (10 feet). "No one was reported injured and everyone had been accounted for, a police spokeswoman told AAP early on Sunday."
Inskip is no stranger to sinkholes. However, it appears that until June 2011 they were usually up to 5 to 10 m wide.
On Saturday, June 25, 2011, a sinkhole that opened up on Inskip's Rainbow Beach grew up to 100 m across and was 50 m (164 feet) deep by Sunday, June 26. "The sand started slipping just after 10 am," Ron Morgan from the city of Hervey Bay told Fraser Coast Chronicle.
“The beach is just falling, it's disappearing into a giant hole,” he told the Chronicle. “You can't see the bottom. It's like a deep crevasse, and it is growing all the time.”
Inskip Point sinkhole - June 2011. Video credit: John McLeod
The following video was recorded in 2005.
Inskip Point sinkhole - 2005. Video credit: paddles1964
The video description says: "...moments earlier they were a number of 4X4 parked in this section of beach with guys fishing near by. These sinkholes appear every now and again along Inskip Beach near where the ferries cross between Inskip Point and Frazer Island. They are caused by whirlpools that are generated in the deep passage every few years. The whirlpools sometimes make it shore and undermining the beach. Eventually, the weight of the sand becomes too great to support itself and it collapses in a matter of minutes and has the potential to take with it anyone standing there."
Featured image: Inskip Point sinkhole as seen on September 27, 2015. Image credit: EPA