Nayanoripalle village in Andhra Pradesh's Kadapa district was in for a shock on Sunday when an overhead water tank sunk to the ground, and several old structures developed cracks.
Authorities immediately vacated their houses as a dozen sinkholes emerged in the ground around the village.
The first sinkhole was noticed on Friday on the outskirts of the village, but many followed as the sinkholes got as wide as 30 feet.
A report in The Hindu adds:
A sinkhole was formed in front of the mandal parishad school in Nayanoripalle and the school compound wall, a surface-level water tank and a couple of trees fell into it. The sinkhole formation was coupled with deafening sounds spreading panic among the villagers. The officials called upon the residents to vacate the village, as continuing to live there could endanger lives. Already over a dozen families left the village to take shelter in the houses of their relatives elsewhere.
A team from the Geological Survey of India (GSI) that rushed to the village and conducted an investigation suggested that large deposits of limestone mixed with water from the heavy rains over the past few days caused the limestone to melt and form the sinkhole.
‚ÄúThe experts are studying the phenomenon from different geological angles to zero in on the exact cause. As of now they are looking into three causes. First, location of calcareous (limestone) deposits below the gravel topsoil. The location of `palaeo channels' (the course of a river or water body that once flowed through the region).And existence of a fault plane running through Nayanoripalle and Turkapalle,‚ÄĚ T Subba Rayudu, a geologist with the AP mines department, told the Times of India.