Sinkholes: Buried Alive, Yikes!

DATELINE: NOVA!

NOVA’s distressing documentary of several years ago features some horrific scenes of trees, cars, homes, acres, simply disappearing in a sudden eruption. On occasion, people have been trapped and disappear before rescuers can uncover them.

Buried Alive takes on a hideous reality.

Most of these sinkholes seem to be in porous Florida where the land is pockmarked with water filled caves and tunnels that loosen and plunge. However, you shouldn’t feel safe anywhere in the world

One notorious case was a Florida man who screamed for help as his bedroom caved in—and he was lost forever..

It seems if you have lousy and unstable bedrock and limestone under your feet, you are a potential victim. One retired couple moved to Florida from Massachusetts, and now they are stuck, gambling their home will last longer than the rest of their lives. You cannot sell property when the tell-tale cracks and foundation sinking reveal potential disaster.

It only takes a few seconds for the earth beneath you to plummet dozens of feet. You are more likely to be buried in a sinkhole than an earthquake.

Much sinkhole activity is caused by human inhabitation, development, and apathy. As one expert states, you don’t have land examined for sinkholes, or it becomes worthless, and developers will lose their money. Home construction then leaves the issue to the owners who foot the bill when the inevitable happens in Florida.

Let the buyer beware is a good policy. Many government agencies have sinkhole maps—and will let you know if your neighborhood is prone.