Scene of an enormous sinkhole that swallowed a road in Japan (Photos)

A gigantic has opened in the southwestern Japanese city of , swallowing huge sections of road near underground work to extend a subway tunnel.

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A 7-to 8-meter-wide hole was first reported early Tuesday, according to Motohisa Oda, a crisis management officer from the city of Fukuoka.

Nearby residents were evacuated, and five major roads cordoned off in Hakata ward in Fukuoka’s business district.

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The gaping hole — which started off as two smaller ones before merging into the larger cavity — appeared 300 meters from the JR Hakata railway station, CNN reports.

The sinkhole is now a whopping 27 meters wide, 30 meters long and 15 meters deep.

It is filled with water that seeped in from sewage pipes destroyed by collapsing sections of road.

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