A hole suddenly appeared in the asphalt of a street by Vídivellir in Selfoss, south Iceland, yesterday. The origin of the hole is unknown but it is possible that it is a late aftermath of the strong earthquakes which hit the region in 2008.
From Selfoss. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
“Our kids found the hole yesterday. At that point it was much smaller but it grew throughout the day,” local resident Saeunn Ósk Kristinsdóttir told visir.is.
The hole now measures about half a meter in diameter but there is a larger hollow below the opening, probably around two square meters.
The street was closed to traffic yesterday and the hole fenced off to prevent accidents. Representative of the local municipality, Árborg, came to inspect the hole this morning.
Jón Tryggvi Gudmundsson, the municipality’s utility manager, said the hole will be further inspected later today.
The sewage pipe below the street will be photographed to check whether loose minerals have entered the pipe. So far, no blockage has been noticed.
According to Gudmundsson, it is too early to make any statements on the hole’s origin. “There can be more than one reason for the prolapse.”
Kristinsdóttir said that local inhabitants had noticed a depression in the asphalt some time ago. “It was like a reverse speed bump,” she described.
The south Iceland earthquake of 2008 was very powerful. Afterwards, a few houses which were severely damaged had to be demolished, including the house on Vídivellir 12, close to where the hole has now appeared.
These were in fact two earthquakes which hit south Iceland simultaneously in May 2008. They measured 6.3 points on the Richter scale and could be felt as far from the epicenter as Ísafjördur in the West Fjords.
Here you can see a picture of the hole.