Here in Perth, for the second time in four months, a sinkhole has just opened up in the carpark of the Stockland Baldivis Shopping Centre. After the asphalt had finished its crumbling, hired work crews began excavation. So far, no injuries have been reported.
This sinkhole in particular was a small one, spanning several meters in size. The previous sinkhole, however, was massive in comparison. It spanned over fifteen meters in diameter, and encompassed an entire region of parking lot. The largest sinkholes, however, can reach diameters spanning over 600 meters. Luckily for the shopping centre, that didn’t occur today.
The area was forced to close, and is still undergoing repairs.
In general, there are two types of sinkholes in existence. One type is formed when a cave’s roof collapses in on itself, which exposes the subterranean cavern to the surface. The second type is caused by water slowly dissolving bedrock, which itself creates a chasm. With nothing to support it, the soil layer eventually disintegrates.
As is, it is unclear what is causing the frequency of sinkholes at the shopping centre. Management has come out and stated that they are launching an investigation in tandem with a team of engineers. If evidence of erosion or large amounts of moisture are found beneath the surface-level asphalt, then the entire carpark area might need to be cordoned off.
Risks of sinkholes are mostly related to property damage. However, they very rarely can cause injuries and fatalities. However, if the ground is predominantly limestone or simply has a large enough pool of liquid residing in it, that it could spell potential disaster for the shopping centre. If a large enough sinkhole were to open up beneath the carpark or even part of the centre itself, it could mean fatalities. Sinkholes, besides having the potential to grow extremely wide, can also grow incredibly deep. Depths of over 600 meters have been measures. What this means for Stockland Baldivis Shopping Centre is that now, after the appearance of a second sinkhole, they must now conduct a very thorough investigation into the grounds around their property.
If a pronounced likelihood for sinkholes is found, it could result in costly repairs and months of excavation – the alternative being a possible lawsuit if someone is physically injured or suffers property damage. In that situation, the only true beneficiary would be a company that would ultimately prove themselves the best junk car removal in Perth.
If, from the point of completion in the investigation till onwards, someone was to suffer property damage in a sinkhole related incident occurring on the centre’s property, it would be unlikely that the victim would try to sue the centre. This is because auto insurance company’s will likely cover the charges incurred. However, if a personal injury is suffered, then the victim could likely sue, due to likely mental trauma suffered. Personal injury suits can result in vast sums being paid out, so it would be wise for the centre to thoroughly investigate their property.
The following video discusses sinkholes in detail, and is recommended viewing: