Sink Hole Swallows entire block - Woman Throws her baby from Roof
- uploaded: Jan 9, 2014
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This is the shocking moment an enormous sinkhole that swallows dozens of houses in a Rio slum as terrified Brazilians look on in terror. Horrified residents could only watch in shock as their homes collapsed into the huge pit in the northern state of Para at the weekend. Dramatic CCTV footage showed how the massive craters, which are caused by water erosion, opened up and swallowed house after house. Seconds later, electrical wires above the houses also start breaking due to the strain of the sinkhole. Amazingly, no-one was injured by the accident, as residents had managed to vacate their houses before the sinkhole swallowed entire houses at a time. One panicking resident in a first floor building resorts to throwing her child out the window to safety. The youngster is caught by helpers below, while the woman herself frantically escapes when a ladder is produced in the nick of time. Moments after the woman - who is seven months pregnant - flees the building, it collapses backwards into the sinkhole. More than 300 people of the 78,000 town-residents have been displaced by the landslide. 'A hole just opened up and sliced crossed the street engulfing all the houses around," said a shocked Selma Costa, who lives in the area. 'Nobody can believe what happened. Houses were simply swallowed by the hole. Even the supermarket and an office went into the hole' she reported.'Cracks just started opening up in the ground and huge craters appeared. Trucks, homes, everything went into the river," said another people tried fruitlessly to save their possessions.'We worked so hard for everything and in the end we have lost everything,' lamented Alfredo Rodrigues, a farmer and one of the residents hit by the area affected by the erosion borders the Maracatura river, which runs through the town. According to environmental experts who have been inspecting the area, the construction of houses close to the river and the uncontrolled growth of the neighbourhood are at the root of the problem, and are the main cause of the tragedy. Environmentalists warn that the removal of vegetation from the an area close to the banks of a river to make way for development affects the soils rate of absorption. Water that would have previously infiltrated tree and plant roots is no longer absorbed naturally and with nowhere to go soaks into and begins to erode the earth. In the days leading up to the disaster, river levels had risen to a dangerous sink holes in Abaetetuba are believed to have been caused by a wearing away of soil and rock as the build up of water undermined the stability in the land. The authorities have already warned that if the river continues to swell, then residents can expect more damage and losses to the surrounding Monday the local authority declared a state of emergency and the area affected has been declared a no-go with nowhere to go have been put up in the local gymnasium. Others are living with relatives unaffected by the devastation.