I moved to New York for a bunch of different reasons, but the eminent danger of earthquakes in San Francisco is perhaps one reason–if slight–that I was drawn to the East Coast. I’d never have to worry about that big one anymore, the ultimate quake that people have forever theorized will one day turn the Bay Area upside-down on itself. Still, I’m resigned to believe there’s almost nowhere to hide from the threat of nature’s power.
Giving credence to that belief, last week a Florida man, Jeff Bush, was sucked out of his sleep and into a sinkhole. Rescue crews deemed it too dangerous to continue the search for Bush, and he’s presumed to be dead. As bizarre as the story sounds, sinkholes are not-so-bizarre an occurrence in the state that relies so heavily upon its groundwater infrastructures. When groundwater moves through highly soluble limestone, of which Florida’s northwestern soils are so highly concentrated, it erodes. Underground caves are formed, which inevitably collapse. Then you have yourself a sinkhole. Florida has thousands.
- by Daniel Stuckey