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Another sinkhole opens in Shenzhen, fortunately this time it was in a green belt

Posted: 06/25/2013 7:00 am

Living in Shenzhen, we are often reminded how fleeting life is.

In March, a man in Futian District was killed when the ground collapsed underneath him. Then in May, a massive sinkhole killed five in Longgang District.

This could easily have killed somebody, courtesy of Sina Weibo

Yesterday another sinkhole opened in Luohu District, but thankfully this time it took place in a greenbelt and there were no casualties, The Daily Sunshine reported in its microblog.

The incident took place around 1 p.m. at the intersection between Huali Road and Fenghuang Road. Repair work started immediately.

The Guardian gives an introduction on the causes of sinkholes:

In the language of geologists, the process that causes sinkholes is “the creation of a void which migrates towards the surface”. In the language of the layman, when there’s not enough solid stuff left underneath to support what is left of the loose stuff above, the whole lot collapses. The resulting depressions characterise what is known as a karst landscape, in which hundreds or even thousands of relatively small sinkholes form across an area that, seen from the air, can appear almost pock-marked.

But it’s not just scientists who have interesting things to say about sinkholes. The philosopher and theologian Jeremy Goad has this to say about the phenomenon:

For a variety of reasons (and, as I discussed in my previous post, for no particular reason), sinkholes made me question God. “Why, God, did you create a world in which the ground gives way underneath people’s feet? Is this really a result of humanity’s sin? Did sinkholes really not occur prior to the fall? Do I really believe in the fall? Do I really believe in Creation? Do I really believe in God? Do I really believe in Christ?” There was no specific logic to my questions. There was no motivating factors for this line of inquiry.

It felt like an avalanche of doubt, stemming from seemingly nothing and and yet in an instant it was gargantuan and oppressive. Like a Top Fuel dragster once completely motionless and in seconds racing at unfathomable speeds, I went from faith to uncertainty directly. I couldn’t control it. I wasn’t particularly happy about it. And I wanted the argument that would win back my faith.

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