Sinking News - Why Do Sinkholes Happen?

sinking news - why do sinkholes happen?Photo: Malay Mail

Remember the sinkholes that have been appearing in Kuala Lumpur quite a bit lately?

The Star spoke to geotechnical engineering expert Prof Dr Fauziah Ahmad of Universiti Sains Malaysia who explained that sinkholes form more commonly during the rainy season. This is largely due to the rainwater causing soil movement, which in turn, form sinkholes. 

She said that rain acts as a trigger because the flow of water can be very strong, also adding that extra precaution should be practiced during this monsoon season.

Dr. Fauziah further said that sinkholes appear when holes underground cause soil movement, making the ground give way.

“When there are strong vibrations or movement on top and there is a cavity below the ground, the sand or soil could erode little by little, and then it will abruptly collapse, ” she also said, adding that sinkholes could happen because compaction of the road was not done properly.

“Former mining land is especially susceptible to sinkholes, ” she told The Star. Another factor that could cause sinkholes is due to improper compaction of the road. 

Providing an example of a massive sinkhole in Fukuoka, Japan, she also said that sinkholes commonly occur elsewhere too. The responsibility lies with construction companies, as they should practice diligence when performing site inspection prior to building roads. 

“Only then will they know and understand what the soil condition is like beneath the planned development site.

Once they know that the land was previously used for mining and where the cavities beneath the surface are, then proper precautionary measures can be taken, ” she said, given that soil conditions could differ every 100m.

A Public Works Department spokesperson said that the department has determined that utility lines should be installed in proper places.

Gotta be careful and drive safe, y’all!

By: Celestine Foo