An embankment collapse along the River Arno in Florence on Wednesday damaged dozens of vehicles along the edge of the waterway.
The Daily Mail reported
that officials believe a ruptured water pipe was to blame for the newly formed ditch that runs 600-by-21 feet. Water leaking from the underground line likely washed away the soil under the vehicles, leading to the collapse, city fire department officials said.
Florence mayor Dario Nardella said that the collapse created "a very serious chasm."
Two homes were evacuated as a precaution but there were no reported injuries in the incident.
that the collapsed area in central Florence prompted a water supply cutoff to a part of the city. The damaged embankment nearly ran up to the city's famous Ponte Vecchio.
The New York Times reported
that the Ponte Vecchio has been named a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) heritage site.
"Built on the site of an Etruscan settlement, Florence, the symbol of the Renaissance, rose to economic and cultural pre-eminence under the Medici in the 15th and 16th centuries," the UNESCO website reported
. "Its 600 years of extraordinary artistic activity can be seen above all in the 13th-century cathedral (Santa Maria del Fiore), the Church of Santa Croce, the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace, the work of great masters such as Giotto, Brunelleschi, Botticelli and Michelangelo."
According to the U.S. Geological Survey
, sinkholes that appear to be similar to the embankment collapse are common where the rock below the land surface is limestone, carbonate rock, salt beds, or rocks that can naturally be dissolved by groundwater circulating through them.
When the rock dissolves, caverns develop underground while the surface stays intact until the hollow space grows too big to provide support, noted the USGS website.
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