A second, huge sinkhole has formed at Cape Kiwanda on the Oregon Coast, next to where one was found back in January.
Oregon State Parks says the new sinkhole — 10 feet across by 30 feet deep — was found Monday morning. It is 10 inches away from the first one.
The first sinkhole measures about 25 feet across and 15 feet deep.
The new sinkhole developed within the safety barrier that was already in place around the first hole. That safety barrier has since been expanded.
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“We ask that visitors respect this barrier and all park safety barriers and that they keep pets on leashes and children away from the edges,” said Park Ranger Supervisor Travis Korbe in a statement. We are monitoring the site daily, but it’s a dynamic environment. The soft sandstone cliffs can give way without warning, which is why it’s important to respect safety fences everywhere in the park.”
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Oregon Parks says is working with a geologist to help determine the best location for a permanent safety fence to keep visitors away from the sinkholes. The soil appears to be falling into large, unstable voids beneath the cliff caused by strong ocean waves.
“Cape Kiwanda is a sandstone outcropping, which is naturally much weaker and prone to sudden changes compared with hardier rock like basalt. While any natural area carries risk, enjoying Cape Kiwanda safely requires visitors to pay special attention,” the parks department said.
More sinkholes could appear and the current ones could change at any moment. The parks department says anyone seeing something of concern can call Cape Lookout State Park staff at 503-842-4981. In an emergency, call 911.