A sinkhole opened up Sunday at a busy intersection in Tel Aviv, leading to road closures and traffic congestion, but causing no injuries or damage to vehicles.
Police were alerted to the sinkhole on the corner of Ibn Gabirol and Zeitlin streets in the city, right by Rabin Square.
Authorities said engineers arrived at the site and that lanes were closed off in both streets. The closures caused serious congestion in surrounding roads and police called on drivers to find alternative routes rather than pass through the area.
The sinkhole may have been caused by the construction of the Green Line of the Tel Aviv light rail system that is taking place in the area, upsetting the subterranean soil, according to Hebrew media reports.
Work to fill in the hole was expected to finish later in the night.
Ayalon Highways Co., a major government infrastructure body for the Gush Dan region that includes Tel Aviv, said in a statement that its experts had assessed the sinkhole as shallow and that work to fill it in would be completed within hours.
“The connection to the work on the Green Line will be examined,” the statement said.
Several sinkholes have been discovered in Israel in recent months, including one that shut a major highway exit ramp in Tel Aviv for two weeks — a 15-meter-deep (50-foot) sinkhole that emerged at Hashalom Interchange in September. The sinkhole did not cause any injuries despite having occurred on a busy highway. It was allegedly caused by construction work on the nearby Azrieli Spiral Tower, which is slated to become Tel Aviv’s second-tallest building.
Earlier this month, a sinkhole appeared in a parking spot between two buildings in Hod Hasharon. Fire, Rescue, and Emergency services that arrived at the scene ordered an evacuation of nearby buildings until municipal engineers examined the hole to assess its cause.
Sinkholes can occur when water flowing underground creates cavities that eventually collapse.