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Japan Fixes Vast Fukuoka City Sinkhole – in Two Days

The 30 metre hole was repaired in 48 hours, although health and safety checks delayed the reopening. A section of road in the centre of the Japanese city of Fukuoka has reopened just days after a sinkhole opened up outside a busy railway station and threatened to topple nearby buildings.

In a typical demonstration of Japanese workmanship and efficiency, workers toiled around the clocks and had practically filled in the section of road in just two days, according to local media.

The road reopened to traffic and pedestrians early on Tuesday after local officials declared the repaired stretch safe.

The weeklong rush to reopen the busy stretch of road included repairs to a sewage pipe and replacing traffic lights and utility poles that were swallowed when the sinkhole opened up shortly after 5am local time on 8 November.

The incident caused power cuts and disrupted phone signals, and gas and water supplies, but there were no reports of injuries.

The mayor of Fukuoka, Soichiro Takashima, said the affected ground was now 30 times stronger than before, adding that a panel of experts would be set up to establish the cause of the cave-in.

Local media reports said the 30m by 27m sinkhole, which was 15 metres deep, was caused by construction work on an extension to an underground line.