Small sinkhole opens up in central Tel Aviv, latest in series of similar incidents

Police say no injuries on Allenby Street, with officers directing traffic; no word on cause

The site of a sinkhole that opened up in Tel Aviv, January 21, 2023 (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
The site of a sinkhole that opened up in Tel Aviv, January 21, 2023 (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

A small sinkhole opened up on Tel Aviv’s main Allenby Street on Saturday, the latest in a series of similar incidents in central Israel in recent months.

Police said in a statement that there were no injuries and that officers were directing traffic at the scene. It was unclear what caused the hole to open up.

In recent months, sinkholes have gained headlines after appearing in several locations in central Israel, including a major highway, fueling fears that such incidents could become more widespread.

On Thursday, three buildings were evacuated until further notice over fears they would collapse after a cave-in at a nearby construction site in the central city of Hod Hasharon.

Last Saturday morning, also in Hod Hasharon, a driver narrowly escaped when his car was pulled into a hole.

The site of a sinkhole that opened up in Tel Aviv, January 21, 2023 (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

In November 2022, a sinkhole appeared in a parking spot between another two buildings in Hod Hasharon. Emergency services that arrived at the scene ordered an evacuation of nearby buildings until municipal engineers examined the hole to assess its cause.

Also that month, two other sinkholes appeared on roads in Tel Aviv.

In September 2022, a large sinkhole opened up on the major Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv, shutting down the highway completely for hours and leaving a main exit shuttered for two weeks.

Last summer, a man was killed after the swimming pool he was in collapsed and he was dragged into a sinkhole that formed underneath.

The sinkhole that opened up in a pool at a home in Karmei Yosef, July 21, 2022. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

In 2021, a sinkhole opened up in the parking lot of Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, swallowing several cars.

They are also common occurrences around the Dead Sea, caused after receding saltwater leaves behind underground salt deposits, which are later dissolved by rainwater or flash floods, causing the land above to collapse.

Last month, the Academy of the Hebrew Language announced “sinkhole” was its word of the year in 2022.

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