|Photo credit: phys.org|
Update: March 25, 2013: The Assumption Parish sinkhole has continued to grow and as of now covers an incredible 9 acres of land. More methane gas leaks have been detected as well as continued seismic activity. Neighborhoods closest to the sinkhole are still abandoned, with local governments planning for more people to be evacuated should the sinkhole continue to expand, with no word on any plan to prevent the disaster from spreading. More information in the video below:
The mysterious Louisiana sinkhole that began opening earlier in the summer has continued to expand rapidly, and appears to be ready to completely encompass a 1 mile by 3 mile salt dome located beneath the ground.
Authorities have asked more than 150 households and businesses located nearby the sinkhole in the towns of Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou in Assumption Parish to evacuate the area as a safety precaution. The sinkhole was discovered on August 3 in a swamp located between Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou on property owned by Texas Brine Corp., parish officials have stated in blog posts. The sinkhole is about 200 feet away from the Texas Brine's cavern, one of 51 such oil and gas-related storage caverns carved out of the underground Napoleanville Salt Dome.
Local residents had been reporting seeing gas bubbles, hearing odd booms and feeling mysterious tremors in the bayous for several weeks leading up to the discovery of the sinkhole. The sinkhole, on land owned by Houston-based Texas Brine Co., initially began as an acre-sized hole that quickly liquefied into muck, toppling hundreds of cypress trees as it rapidly expanded. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has since declared a state of emergency in Assumption Parish.
The top of the sinkhole expanded to encompass more than 4-acres in the past week, swallowing up more trees as well as part of a road built to help clean up the site, officials have stated. Officials have also stated that the sinkhole will more than likely continue to expand in the coming weeks, months and perhaps even years.
An oil slick within the sinkhole is now so massive the fumes can be smelled by residents more than a mile away, with some complaining the diesel-like vapors are making them ill.