What did people in Peru and China do to make the planet so mad at them? Peru has suffered from ground cracking before and now the earth is opening in more cities to eat homes and churches. The latest sinkholes in China prefer cars while a hole in Shanghai is spouting flaming water. What’s going on?
The mysterious Peruvian cracks started last spring in Socosbamba on the Pacific coast in the central part of the country. As they widened, the cracks consumed hundreds of houses and scores of roads, forcing residents to live in tents and farmers to abandoned their fields. While those continue to spread, a new crevice opened in Tarabamba on September 13th in a different part of the Department of Ancash. This one immediately consumed 24 houses, a church, a school, a bridge, two irrigation canals and 150 acres of crops and is reportedly spreading. The regional government has already delivered close to 2 tons of supplies to the victims.
What’s causing the casa- and crop-consuming cracks? As before, experts are blaming soil creep, a process that occurs when wet clay dries. However, creep doesn’t cause cracks of the quantity and size being created in Peru. Residents fear possible earthquakes or worse.
Meanwhile, China is dealing with rounder holes that prefer cars to houses. A sinkhole in Haikou, the capital of south China's Hainan Province, opened on September 16th and swallowed a parking lot and its cars. No one was hurt but a number of vehicles had to be lifted out by crane.
The cause of this sinkhole isn’t as mysterious as the Peruvian cracks. Heavy rains from Typhoon Vamco weakened a construction site that was under … don’t get ahead of me here … the parking lot. Doesn’t anyone read “No Parking” signs anymore?
Possibly the scariest recent earth phenomenon is in Shanghai where drillers digging a well found water with a little extra kick in it. A cigarette ash (Doesn’t anyone read “No Smoking” signs anymore?) touched the water and it burst into flame. When the fire wouldn’t go out, an expert (apparently not in fracking) said the drillers hit a pocket of natural gas and the flames would go out when the gas ran out. Meanwhile, don’t smoke in the shower.
Whether the causes are mysterious or man-made, cracks, holes and flaming water in the earth are not good signs.