Giant sinkhole in Fukuoka, Japan, repaired within seven days

Giant sinkhole in Fukuoka, Japan, repaired within seven days, by Megan Levy.

A giant sinkhole that swallowed part of a five-lane road in the Japanese city of Fukuoka has been filled in with a speed almost as astonishing as its sudden appearance.

Before-and-after photos of the road show people walking across a pedestrian crossing that, just days ago, was a gaping hole roughly half the size of an Olympic swimming pool in the southern Japanese city’s central business district.

The sinkhole, which appeared on November 8, spanned the width of the road, measuring roughly 30 metres wide and 15 metres deep.

It was thought to have been triggered by nearby underground construction to extend a subway tunnel. No one was injured when the road collapsed.

Road crews worked around the clock to reinstall damaged utilities, fill the hole and resurface the road.

Some have expressed amazement at the efficiency of the repair effort. “Manchester sink hole took 10 months to fix … Japan fixes vast Fukuoka city sinkhole – in two days,” tweeted Charlie Morrison.

Wow, these guys get it. You are going to fix it anyway, and the sooner it’s fixed the lower the cost.

Can you imagine how long this would have taken in Australia? OHS would have been all over it. Politicians would have inspected it. Police and fire would have made warnings. Committees would have been formed and the voice of experts sought. Talking and looking – a lot.  Anything being actually done – not so much.

In a war, army engineers would have fixed the problem in days. Now?  Six months at the very least with the bankruptcy of every business in the area. The Japanese do their road repairs overnight and open in the morning before rush hour. It takes months here.

hat-tip Matthew, Philip Barton