It resulted in hundreds off people being injured, as well as walls being knocked over and fires triggered in Japan’s second-most populous city.
170,000 homes were left without power, and flights in and out of the city’s airport were grounded.
A sinkhole is a depression or hole in the ground caused by some form of collapse of the surface layer, in this case as a result of seismic activity.
They can measure anything up to 2,000 feet in both diameter and depth.
Water rapidly filled up the sinkhole, leaving the road impassable until repairs can be carried out.
However, if previous efforts are anything to go by, it may not be out of commission for too long.
In 2016, a 30-metre sinkhole which opened up outside a busy railway station in the centre of the Japanese city of Fukuoka was repaired within 48 hours.
Within a week, the road was reopened and it was business as usual.
And after the earthquakes which rocked the country in 2011 and caused damage to the Fukushima nuclear power station, a team of workers took just six days to repair gaping cracks up to 150 metres along a stretch of road north of Tokyo.
Experts believe the latest quake may have involved a fault which has not moved for more than 10,000 years, and are warning there could be more quakes to come.
Toshiyuki Matsumori, a spokesman for Japan’s meteorological agency, said: “There are fears that the risk of house collapses and landslides has increased in the areas shaken strongly.
“Please make sure that you are fully on alert about seismic activities and information on rainfall, and stay clear of dangerous places.”
Making reference to two earthquakes centred on Kumamoto in south-western Japan two years ago, Shinji Toda, an earthquake geology professor at Tohoku University, said: “We may have to consider the possibility of even greater earthquakes following, as happened in the quakes in Kumamoto.”
Source : EXPRESS