The Russian city of Berezniki has paid the price for being located above a former Soviet potash mine, with the area’s capitulating soil leaving the settlement scarred by sinkholes and moon-like craters.
Springing up throughout the 1900s in the Ural Mountains, Berezniki has more recently become infamous for its devastating sinkholes - the result of mining practices in the area - forcing large areas to be abandoned. As parts of the city began to give way and disappear into the ground, thousands of people had to be evacuated and key services like schools and transport moved or shut down.
Now drone footage shows many of these abandoned locations lying eerily close to flooded sinkholes and large undulating cravasses.
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The recent footage also reveals work being undertaken using heavy machinery to tear down damaged buildings. Some of the menacing water-filled craters now resemble serene lakes. However, the existence of pancaking structures nearby betray terrifying the truth - the earth is unstable and at risk of swallowing the entire city.
The biggest of these sinkholes opened up between 2006 and 2007, threatening train routes, and forcing local authorities to flood many of the alarming cracks in Berezniki. According to Euronews, at least 10 sinkholes have been discovered in the city of around 150,000, while there are fears that the old mine may hide many more of these unpleasant surprises.
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