On Aug 13, RearNakedSmoke posted on YouTube live action footage of a monster sinkhole rearing its ugly head in the Assumption Parish bayou in Louisiana.
Assumption Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness filmed the video of the sinkhole gulping up a slurry of water and trees. This scary visualization shows how rapidly the sinkhole disrupts the lives of people in the area and the surrounding environment.
Acting like an underwater straw, trees as tall as 40 feet and a mass amount of water were sucked into the hungry hole, as an illustration of the sinkhole’s strength.
The sinkhole was discovered a year ago in 2012, and since then has grown to 24 acres. It ultimately forced residents in the area to evacuate their homes.
Sinkholes are underwater holes wherein the ground rapidly opens up for a variety of reasons. Natural erosion or man-induced excavations of natural materials are some of the causes that create the earth’s ground surface to become unstable and the land to collapse. This phenomenon is more often seen in states such as Florida, Texas, Tennessee and Alabama, just to name a few.
In June of 2012, gas bubbles were observed coming out of the Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou areas. Then two months, the Assumption Parish sinkhole raised it ugly head, and continued growing to its current massive size.
Texas Brine, a company that mines salt, is being blamed for creating the devastating conditions in the area.
The company leases the land associated with the sinkhole and performs injection mining in the area. The mining company pumps fresh water into the underwater caverns to force saltwater to surface. The saltwater is then broken down into sodium hydroxide and chlorine, which is sold to manufacturing industries for their use.
All mining work being done in the area has now ceased because of the new seismic activity created by the sinkhole.
In this current instance, as is seen in the video live action video footage, activity from air and gas rising from deep within it hole caused a 50’ by 25’ area to open up the monster of a sinkhole swallowing up water and about 25 trees.
The alert status in the area has been increased to a Code 3 due to the sinkhole’s increased activity closing down Texas Brine’s mining activities in the area.
On Aug. 2, Louisiana state officials, Governor Bobby Jindal and Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, announced that they plan on having the state sue Texas Brine for the environmental damages created by the company’s mining.
Based on the seismic surveys Texas Brine has been conducting, the sinkhole appears to be stabilizing and slowing down. Natural gas, however, is collecting under the aquifer located nearby which poses a new danger.
As a goodwill measure to those residents largely affected by the damage the sinkhole created, Texas Brine is paying the families $875 per week in compensation. But, will this be enough to help those families who are still evacuated from their homes?
When viewing the live action footage of the sinkhole, it does not appear that the monster is yet to be quenched.
Written by Lisa Graziano