Thousands are spending their days in fear of being buried under the ground alive after a multitude of sinkholes appeared in areas of Croatia that were shaken by an earthquake two months earlier.
It was the end of the previous year, the 29th of December when Croatia was struck by the worst of all earthquakes to hit that vicinity. It recorded at 6.4 on the Richter magnitude scale affecting approximately 116,000 humans. The most affected ones are from Petrinia, Sisak, and Glina, given the high intensity of the quack, and several others are affected that were based in the surrounding rural areas.
The strong shakings damaged more than 35,000 homes and about 5,000 businesses. The earthquake was strong and caused much damage to the buildings. However, fortunately, the total death toll of the incident is 5. Now more than two months have passed since the fatal earthquake, and people living in the area are more worried about the destructive sinkholes that appeared later.
As per the reports by people in the village of Me?en?ani, situated about 25 km from the epicenter of the destructive earthquake, the initial sinkholes appeared two days before the occurrence of the quake, but 10 days later, 15 more sinkholes were reported, alongside another 15 in the surrounding vicinity.
Tomo Medved, the head of the relief works, told Croatia Radio that the sinkholes are increasing at an alarming rate, 40 of the enormous earth holes were recorded last week, and the number has gone above 70 for as of now.
The sinkholes are popping up at such an alarming rate that scientists and researchers have difficulty evaluating the situation. Professionals at the Zagreb Faculty of Mining, Geology, and Petroleum Engineering have made some suggestions. Still, nobody is willing to take the responsibility and come up with a strategy with lives at risk in the equation.
Medved said, “This is now a huge number, large expansion, and we are faced with the challenge of finding a solution… so that the lives of the people living here are not in any danger.”
More sinkholes are expected to appear in the coming days, and even to make it worse, they are expected to increase rapidly. This is because the aftershocks are still frequent and pose a considerable danger to the ones living in Croatia.
Works to fill up the existing potholes is out of the question for now, and neither can anyone do anything to stop more from appearing in the coming days. Authorities and relief workers are evacuating the most affected places and are setting up temporary living spaces in the form of containers.
Some of the holes inspected by the task force are several meters wide, the biggest one recorded so far at 30 m across. The most in-depth is 15 meters, as measuring the depth of these sinkholes has been a challenge so far given, they are filled with water.
Some other experts believe that these sinkholes are related to the recent earthquake, some places opened up before the event, and most are opening up without the aftershocks. This all has been marked so very unusual, and scientists lack explanation on this for now.