A sinkhole triggered in Louisiana by the fossil fuel industry grew to 12 acres over the weekend, and it appears that hundreds of displaced nearby residents will never be able to return to their homes.
The oil-sheen-coated sinkhole, photographed over the weekend.
The sinkhole has been growing since it appeared in August. It was caused by a salt mining operation that sucked brine out from beneath the Assumption Parish marsh and piped it to nearby petrochemical facilities. Houston-based Texas Brine had apparently excavated too close to the surface, and officials are worried that a similar fate could befall another Texas Brine salt mining site nearby.
Salt is used by the oil industry to stabilize the earth around drilled wells. Emptied salt domes are also used to store oil, gas, and other petrochemicals.
Natural gas is belching out of the sinkhole and the waters that have filled it are covered with a rainbow slick of oil. Officials are burning the gas as it escapes to try to prevent an explosion.
About 350 people living in the area have been under an evacuation order and many of them displaced for more than seven months, with no end in sight. Texas Brine officials said they were beginning to contact residents Monday to discuss buyouts and settlement offers for the 150 homes.
Austrian Villagers to Refugees: Please Don't Fear Krampus 2015-12-02 6:30
The integration of Syrian and Iraqi refugees is facing a terrifying challenge in rural Austria this holiday season.
Officials in the village of Virgen worried about how new arrivals from the Middle East would react to the local tradition of meeting so-called "Christmas Devils" who pretend to abduct kids.
"In the first week of December, the good, gift-bringing St. Nicholas wanders through ...
Feminist blogger uses her vaginal yeast to make sourdough bread 2015-12-01 22:52
It's a tale that might ensure you never look the same way at a humble loaf again.
When a feminist blogger found herself suffering from a vaginal yeast infection, she made the unusual decision to use the unwanted bodily fluid as an ingredient for making bread.
Zoe Stavri, who writes under the title Another Angry Woman, has documented the details of her ...
Apple could be working on virtual reality projector, patents show 2015-12-01 22:40 The company has been granted a patent for an âadaptive projectorâ, which can project images onto surfaces
Apple could be working on a new augmented reality projector, which would allow it to make computers without even adding a screen.
The company has been granted a patent for an âadaptiveâ projector, reports Patently Apple. The patents seem to refer to a tool ...
83-year-old Romanian Jewess crowned "Miss Holocaust Survivor" in Israel 2015-12-01 22:23 83-year-old Romanian born Rita Berkowitz wins the one-of-a-kind charity beauty pageant
Romania-born woman who immigrated to Israel won the third annual Miss Holocaust Survivors Beauty Pageant in Haifa.
Rita Berkowitz, 83, was chosen among the 16 European natives who participated in the contest on Tuesday. She came to Israel in 1951.
Hairdressers and makeup artists primped and pampered the contestants before they took ...
North Vancouver schools get first gender-neutral washroom 2015-12-01 21:52
In a first for North Vancouver schools, Seycove secondary has opened a gender-neutral washroom.
The move is a step in the right direction and recognition that not every student feels welcome in the binary male- or female-designated washrooms, according to Brian Wilson, president of Seycoveâs Queer Straight Alliance Club, which lobbied the school administration for the washroom.
High school is already a ...