169 sinkholes formed in Seoul over past 7 years

SEOUL– A total of 169 sinkholes formed in Seoul over the past seven years, the metropolitan government said Monday, amid a recent spate of cases of land subsidence on roads and other public places.

The number of sinkholes, which refer to a depression or hole in the ground, surged from 33 in 2015 to 57 in 2016 before decreasing to 23 in 2017, the government said.

Since then, over 10 sinkholes have occurred in the capital ever year, with 17 cases in 2018, 13 in 2019, 15 in 2020 and 11 in 2021, it noted.
This year, two sinkholes were reported in a single day. On Sunday at around 12:05 p.m., a sinkhole measuring 3 meters in width, 2 meters in length and 1 meter in depth formed on a road near Jongno 5-ga Station in central Seoul. At 8:32 p.m. on the same day, a sinkhole was identified on a sidewalk next to a construction site in Magok-dong, western Seoul.

Seoul officials speculated that the Jongno sinkhole may have been caused by a crack in the welded part of a water supply pipe, adding there were no casualties.

They also presumed that the Magok sinkhole measuring 0.5 meter in width, 1.5 meters in length and 3 meters in depth may be caused by cavitation related to the construction site. A woman in her 20s, who was walking on the sidewalk, fell into the Magok sinkhole and was transported to a nearby hospital with injuries to her arms and legs.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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