Our Japanese correspondent in Fukuoka brings us the latest images from the scene of the road collapse that occurred on the island of Kyushu.

A section of a major road caved in outside Hakata Station at 5:15 a.m. on the morning of November 8, with people sharing images of the shocking scene on social media amidst a power outage and evacuations of nearby buildings. Thankfully, nobody was injured in the incident, but with a giant pit now stretching out across the five-lane road, and buildings located precariously on its edge, officials and emergency services remain on the scene, working to fix the problem while closely monitoring the situation.

▼ The road collapse occurred at the Hakata Eki-mae Ni-chome intersection outside Hakata Station.

Our Japanese-language correspondent visited the scene on the afternoon of November 8 to report on the state of events and find out how the incident affected citizens of the city on a busy workday. Upon arriving at the location, our reporter found that the road closures around the affected remained firmly in place, with three blocks from the front of the station up to the Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Building and the Taiyo Life Hakata Building closed to traffic and pedestrians.

With power still cut to the area, there were no working traffic signals, so police were on the scene to help enforce closures and guide emergency vehicles in the immediate vicinity.

As there was a strong smell of gas surrounding the site, police were also broadcasting announcements, warning the public to refrain from lighting cigarettes due to the possibility of a gas leak.

While the public were kept well away from the area, passers-by gathered to take photos of the scene, which has made news around Japan and overseas.

A large crowd of people also gathered at the FM Fukuoka Studio Terrace on the third floor of the Hakata Station Building, in an attempt to get a closer look at the scene.


Other buildings remained off-limits, with signs like this one seen in the vicinity. This reads: “Due to a road collapse at a nearby road there is no access to this entire building.”

A number of blocks away, however, the Hakata Station underground shopping centre remained open to the public, with shoppers and businesses operating as they would on any ordinary workday.

Outside, several hundred metres away from the sinkhole, media gathered as close as possible to the site in order to report from the scene. According to our reporter, there was an eerie feeling on the street, with the unscheduled road closures and groups of onlookers creating an atmosphere that made it clear this was no normal day in the city.

As the city government began work on filling the hole this afternoon, there still remains a risk of buildings along the road collapsing into the pit. The road cave-in is believed to have occurred after water began flowing beneath the surface during underground tunnel excavation work to extend the Nanakuma subway line. The Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau has said it will make an announcement to the public once the exact cause of the accident has been determined.

Images ©RocketNews24
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