Dramatic photos show the extent of the damage that occurred in the early hours of this morning.

A main road outside Hakata Station in Fukuoka City began to give way in two parts at 5:15 a.m. this morning, with each depression measuring approximately 10 metres (33 feet) deep and 15 metres (49 feet) wide.

With a power outage occurring at the same time, officials asked people in nearby buildings to evacuate the area. As photos of the scene emerged on social media, people warned each other to stay away from the vicinity of the Hakata Station Front 2-chome intersection, where the accident occurred.

With traffic closed around the Hakata-guchi and Hakata Ward Office South Entrance intersections, the two cavities gradually spread across the five-lane road, creating a depression that measured 20 metres (66 feet) in width and depth.

Morning news programmes on Japanese television showed dramatic footage of the incident, which included street poles falling into the pit, along with water rushing out from pipes beneath the road’s surface.

According to the Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau, the road cave-in occurred after water began flowing beneath the surface during underground tunnel excavation work to extend the Nanakuma subway line. Thankfully, there have been no reports of injuries or fatalities due to the incident.

Sources: Hamusoku, Asahi Shimbun, Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau
Featured image: Twitter/@Satoshi_Maeda