A string of small earthquakes have been rattling Oklahoma over the past month and residents are wondering if the natural disasters are to blame for an emerging sinkhole.
The sinkhole opened up near Sayre, Okla., a few days after an earthquake struck the state around two weeks ago. Residents of Beckham County say that the sinkhole is so large that a small house can fit inside of it.
The massive hole forming in the ground is about 40-feet wide and 40-feet deep, according to NBC station KFOR-TV. The hole is likely to continue to expand in the coming days.
Jack Damron, the man who has been farming the land for 20 years, was not sure why the sinkhole emerged but said that it appeared overnight.
Damron told KFOR that when the sinkhole appeared “you could actually sit here for 30 minutes and see stuff just move.”
The state has been bombarded with an abnormally high number of earthquakes since 2009 and just last week six tembors were felt in four days.
The earthquakes were minor, but have many residents questioning why the state has been facing 10 times more earthquakes than normal over the past few years.
The state does not sit on a major fault line; therefore, it is unclear why the state has been struck with more seismic activity in recent years.
Experts suggest that the sinkhole is most likely not related to the earthquakes, as sinkholes are not uncommon in the area.
Geologists at the Oklahoma Geological Survey told KFOR-TV that several factors could have led to the development of the sinkhole including the dissolving of salt and rock formations, or the possible draining of an old coal mine.
Experts also suggest that drought conditions could have caused the massive sinkhole. The state has been facing extreme weather patterns this past year, including an unusually hot summer.