Natural Wonders

300 Evacuated After Australian Sinkhole Swallows Entire Campsite

“I thought we were goners for sure."

When you’re chilling on an idyllic beach, the last thing you expect to happen is for the entire floor to fall away into nothingness. You might expect to get some sun-burn, you might expect to get some sand in your shoes, you might expect for a wave to come along and destroy your carefully constructed sand castle…but the entire floor falling away into nothingness? Hmmm. It seems unlikely.

Try telling that to the campers at this popular Queensland beach, who witnessed the terrifying moment a sinkhole swallowed up a car, a caravan, and a camping trailer. The sinkhole, with measurements of 150-by-50 metres, opened up at a camping area near Rainbow Beach at about 11pm on Saturday.

Melanie Wotherspoon, a camper who was present at the time, described the experience in a Facebook post. “Yep, can’t believe we made it out,” she wrote. “I thought we were goners for sure, was truly scary how fast it came into our campsite and swallowed it up.”

It has been reported that a woman ran through the campsites, and alerted campers by screaming at them to wake up and get out. Police and SES crews rushed to the site immediately, and evacuated approximately 300 people from the surrounding area. Nobody has been reported injured or missing, which is quite incredible when you consider the size of sinkhole.

“I thought we were goners for sure, was truly scary how fast it came into our campsite and swallowed it up.”
Queensland Parks and Wildlife staff have cordoned off the area to prevent access for vehicles and pedestrians. Some camping grounds remain open, but people are being told to stay away from the sinkhole due to the possibility of ocean currents causing it to expand. Incredibly, this sinkhole is the second one to hit the spot in the last four years.

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