The Russian city that's swallowing cars alive

The Russian city that's swallowing cars alive

Car ownership is often a perilous business. If the threat of theft wasn't bad enough, there's always a chance that a crafty parking attendant will tow away your car for parking a few inches shy of the bay.

If you live in the Russian city of Samara, however, your precious vehicle could disappear for an altogether different reason – with the ground underneath quite literally swallowing it up.
According to reports from the city, residents are now living in fear of 'sinkholes', as a spate of the natural phenomena started eating cars, buses and trucks.

Pictures from Samara document the mayhem: with countless vehicles seemingly falling into the giant craters without any warning, and leaving a trail of destruction around the city.

Many suggest that such sinkholes occur when the ground underneath roads and buildings is weakened by either an influx of water, or simply eroded over time – with rock types like limestone reportedly particularly vulnerable.

It's the former that's being put forward as a cause for Samara's problems. A bitter Russian winter is now ending in the area, thawing plenty of snow and ice in the process and reportedly producing considerable amounts of ground water.

The problem is so bad, says the Daily Mail, that citizens of the city have signed a petition to pressure authorities into finding a solution, and at least one person is thought to have died as a result of crashing into the gaping holes.

It's not just Russia that's suffering from the problem, however: Americans are also facing the perils of sinkholes. A man in Florida recently died after his house collapsed into one of the holes while he slept.

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The Russian city that's swallowing cars alive
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