Florida sinkhole swallows parts of resort near Disney World – CNN.com: at night, a huge sinkhole suddenly opened up and swallowed up one and a half buildings. Luckily for the victims, they noticed windows cracking and doors not shutting and other clues and literally ran from the doomed buildings so no lives were lost in this collapse. But like all Florida housing situations, it is a disaster just aching to happen just like building in California where fault lines run. Which is where Disney began building, of course.
A quick look at a map shows that central florida north of Lake Okeechobee can easily see that central Florida is pockmarked by hundreds and hundreds of sinkhole lakes. The highest density of these things is in the Orlando area. A close up with the red markers showing the resort that collapsed shows the place riddled like Swiss cheese with sinkhole lakes.
A Google Earth photo shows clearly that the developers stupidly built large structures right in the middle of a nest of these sink holes:
These hotels are built in circles around sinkholes! All of these should be condemned as unfit for human habitation! Florida allowed this to begin during the Disney purchase years.
Lake Okeechobee sits in a shallow geological trough that also underlies the Kissimmee River Valley and the Everglades. The trough is underlain by clay deposits that compacted more than the limestone and sand deposits did along both coasts of peninsular Florida. Until about 6,000 years ago, the trough was dry land. As the sea level rose, the water table in Florida also rose and rainfall increased. From 6,000 to 4,000 years ago, wetlands formed building up peat deposits. Eventually the water flow into the area created a lake, drowning the wetlands. Along what is now the southern edge of the lake, the wetlands built up the layers of peat rapidly enough (reaching 4-to-4.3-metre (13 to 14.1 ft) thick) to form a dam, until the lake overflowed into the Everglades. At its capacity, the lake holds 1 trillion gallons of water and is the headwaters of the Everglades.…in 1928, the Okeechobee Hurricane crossed over the lake, killing thousands.
The state allowed this development to happen despite knowing the geological/climate hazards just like California allowed building on top of the San Andreas fault and I do mean right on top of it long after geologists understood how the San Andreas works. Money making via wild, willful ignoring of harsh natural limits is a huge problem. Whole cities are built, like Tokyo, in danger zones that are obvious but nothing stops the aggregation of businesses and housing if this is profitable.
In general, most development happens on cheap land. This is why Phoenix is a huge ecological disaster which is very exposed to droughts and Florida faces very uncertain future since it has disappeared under the oceans more than once in geological history and pumping out all the potable water simply causes the geology there to literally collapse as the limestone is dissolved. Trying to control the sun and other weather systems won’t stop Florida from being a geological/meteorological disaster.
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