A massive sinkhole frightened campers as it swallowed up tents, a car and a caravan on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
The hole, which suddenly and terrifyingly appeared at around midnight on Saturday, is bigger than a football field, around three meters deep and appears as a large gouge taken out of the coast at the popular Inskip Point camping grounds on Rainbow Beach near Fraser Island.
School holidays campers were stunned and amazed as the hole opened up in the darkness, many of them scrambling to save their property.
“People were basically on the edge of it with their van, trying to madly get their vans out,” camper Sylvia Murray told the ABC.
Fellow campers were said to be screaming at neighbouring campsites to wake fellow holiday makers so they could escape.
Amazingly, no one was killed or injured. The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service said 140 people had been evacuated from the site.
The area around the sinkhole, which has also been described as ‘near shore landslide’ was cordoned off on Sunday and by Monday, experts said it had become stable but were still urging holidaymakers to keep a safe distance.
“It will happen again”
Ted Griffin, a scientist whose father used to own a sand mine at Inskip Point, told the Sunshine Coast Daily he is not surprised at the event and campers were lucky to be alive.
“The people who were actually asleep there, they could have died,” he said.
“It will happen again, perhaps not for 50 years, but it will happen again.
“I saw one in exactly that same position, a day or so after it happened [in the late 1960s].”
Mr Griffin suggests the local council needs to review planning and use of the area.
“This is a big channel, perhaps 50 or 100 metres. It’s just a very unstable cliff of sand,” he said.
“It seems to me very poor planning that they’ve allowed development so close to such a vulnerable area.”
TOP PHOTO: Aerial shot of the sinkhole at Inskip Point on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. (Facebook: Kieren Hudson)
MIDDLE PHOTO: The Inskip Point sinkhole. (Supplied by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service)