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Florida sinkhole swallows boat, 2 homes; 10 others evacuated

15 July 2017

A massive sinkhole has swallowed two homes in a neighborhood in western Florida and is still continuing to swell, prompting authorities to evacuate numerous nearby houses as a precaution, officials said.

Authorities said the neighborhood has experienced a sinkhole before.

It quickly engulfed one home and a boat and then consumed about 80 percent of another home, said Kevin Guthrie, Pasco County's assistant county administrator for public safety.

Firefighters arrived at the residence to discover a hole about the size of a swimming pool.

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Firefighters rescued two dogs from inside.

He says it was "frightening" to watch the home disappear into the hole. Within an hour or so the sinkhole swallowed one home and part of another home.

The sinkhole was first reported as a depression around 7:56 a.m. on Friday morning, noted ABC News.

The sinkhole is threatening other homes in the area.

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Whited said the hole grew in a matter of minutes.

"We're expecting it to grow", said Guthrie. The home last sold in 2015, according to records.

Geologists at the University of Florida have defined a sinkhole as typically being a natural depression or hole in the Earth's surface caused when rock, often limestone in Florida, is dissolved over time.

Local electric utility company Duke Energy were working to get the power cut in the area.

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The Red Cross was responding to help families affected.

Florida sinkhole swallows boat, 2 homes; 10 others evacuated