National

Utilities knocked out by huge Fukuoka sinkhole restored

Kyodo

Utilities severed by a massive sinkhole that opened up last week beneath a major street in central Fukuoka were completely restored by Sunday.

Repairs to damaged sewage pipes was completed Saturday night, and damage to NTT Corp. communications lines were also fixed.

All together, electricity, gas, telephone, water and sewage services had been knocked out.

The sinkhole has been filled with soil, and the Fukuoka Municipal Government planned to allow vehicles to use the street when experts on soil foundation structure say it is safe to do so, officials said.

“Work has been smooth. After hearing experts’ opinions and examining the road, we hope to reopen it to traffic,” Mayor Soichiro Takashima said.

The 15-meter-deep hole, which measured 30 meters by 27 meters, developed around 5:15 a.m. last Tuesday at an intersection near Hakata Station. It is believed to have been caused by construction work on a subway line extension.

There were no injuries in the incident.

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