Sinkhole swallows car amid Sicily downpour

Sinkhole swallows car amid Sicily downpour
The sinkhole opened up on a road near Catania. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco
A parked car was swallowed up by a sinkhole that suddenly opened up on a road in Sicily after heavy rain on Wednesday evening.

The car plunged five metres through the eight-metre wide hole on a road in Valverde, in the province of Catania.

The female driver made a miraculous escape having just parked the vehicle before the hole opened up, Corriere reported.

It was then hauled out by firefighters with a crane. The scene was captured on the video below.

Heavy rain has swept across Sicily over the past couple of days, with the Catania area faring the worst.

The downpours are expected to continue on Thursday, while torrential rain is also forecast in the Puglia and Calabria regions of southern Italy.

The sinkhole is just the latest embarrassment for the island’s public works authorities. In early January a €13 million viaduct, which lies on a stretch of highway between Palermo and Agrigento, collapsed within days of opening.

Sinkholes are also a common problem elsewhere in the country, especially when torrential rain hits. In February over 300 people had to be evacuated from their homes on a street in Naples after heavy rain and a burst water pipe caused the road to cave in.

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