“Sinkhole” swallows houses in Brazil (UPDATE: Houses collapsed due to poor foundation)

This occurred in Brazil, in a town called Abaetetuba, in the northern state of Para. I’m currently looking into it. Updates to follow.

Note this video is speeded up. It does not happen quite so quickly as depicted.

NOTE: This is commonly referred to on mystery mongering sites as “earth changes” signaling some massive pattern of destruction. Sinkholes happen all the time for various reasons. They can be natural and induced by human activities. All I can say is, trust me, I’m an expert at this stuff.

UPDATE: As far as I can find, there is no carbonate caves/karst features in Para state in Brazil. There are noncarbonate karst areas but they are small. Therefore, this does not look to be a traditional Florida-type cover collapse or cavern roof collapse but something possibly to do with mining or a leak in pipes with soil piping underground. But it’s really dramatic. I can’t locate any additional info and most of it will be in Spanish. So, if anyone can find any additional info and translate, I’d be grateful.

UPDATE 2: And, we got some help! The cause is being attributed to erosion associated with tides.

Erosion destroys more than 50 homes in Abaetetuba.
Erosion in Abaetetuba reached 322 people.

Authorities are still trying to measure the financial losses. They estimate it affected 322 people directly and indirectly. 73 families were affected, with 12 suffering total loss of their houses.

According to Environmental Engineer Paula Pinheiro, from UFRA (Federal Universiry of Rural Amazon), the location affected is a lowland area and is directly influenced by the tides. There, people build wooden houses up to three stories high, so the infrastructure was not there for the soil to hold up these structures.

In the moment of the erosion, she says, the tide was not high. “The tides will start to increase in a while and that is a concern. I believe the problem was worsening as time passed. But up until yesterday I have not seen cracks in the place”.

G1 – Area that collapsed in Abaetetuba had irregular landfill, says engineer – news in Pará.

The neighborhood was built on fill from previous areas of the city. The ground was unstable and saturated. The houses collapsed into the river. One resident noted how the soil conditions were not examined before building. He made sure to build his house upon rock.

So this is not a sinkhole in the traditional sense but land erosion due to flawed building plans and unsuitable foundation.

Thanks to Michel Ferreira for the links and translation of the technical comments.


  4 comments for ““Sinkhole” swallows houses in Brazil (UPDATE: Houses collapsed due to poor foundation)

  1. Jim1950a
    January 7, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    Was there no warning?

  2. January 8, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    No surprise, I read Fantastic Four #1 decades ago.

  3. Michael Ferreira
    January 8, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    Hi Sharon! I just submitted via e-mail an update that I translated from Portuguese about this story. I hope it is useful.

  4. Chris
    January 8, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    That has happened in modern American cities like Seattle where the remnants of the glaciers, steep hills and rain cause houses to slide down hills or for hills to slide onto houses: Landside Hazards in the Seattle, Washington, Area. One of the most tragic was when a family of four was killed when a mudslide pushed there home into Puget Sound: The Liquid Earth.

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