English: Sinkhole along the Hidden Springs Trail at Cedars of Lebanon State Park in Wilson County, Tennessee, in the southeastern United States. Sinkholes are a common feature of karst formations.
The earth has swallowed up parts of two houses in central Florida and is continuing to threaten homes.
A large sinkhole has formed that has caused parts of two homes to collapse in Dunedin, Fla., in addition to swallowing a boat and a backyard pool, NBC News confirms.
The Florida sinkhole began early Thursday morning between the two homes. By 8:30 a.m., it had grown to about 30 feet wide by 30 feet deep, said Dunedin Fire Chief Jeff Parks.
"There was apparently some work being done to try to fill in what they thought was a sinkhole beneath the house the last couple of days," Parks said. "The owner woke up this morning at 5:40 when he heard noises on his back porch and went out and found the sinkhole at that point."
A screened porch and a 14-foot-long boat at the homeowner's property collapsed into the hole, and next door, the master bedroom and a swimming pool had fallen in.
There were no injuries, Parks said.
Six homes were evacuated in Dunedin, which is on the west coast of central Florida. The power and utility lines were cut after officals arrived on the scene and saw that the sinkhole was growing larger.
A sinkhole in Tampa, Fla. also opened up near many homes, and damaged one of them.
"We don't have any type of equipment. We're waiting to see what the engineering company that was working on the house suggests. At this point, it's more of a wait-and-see type of thing," Parks said.
Sinkholes are fairly common in Florida, but do not always cause major damage or injuries. However, in February, a man in Seffner, Fla. was killed when a huge sinkhole opened up beneath his family's home.
The death of the man prompted one of the homeowners affected by the Dunedin sinkhole to hire a sinkhole prevention company to fortify his house.
Engineers poured grout into the foundation of the house for the past two days, homeowner Michael Dupre told BayNews9.com in Florida.
"There was a sinkhole before and we knew there was sinkhole activity," Dupre said. "After the Seffner sinkhole, we were scared. We've been dealing with our insurance company and finally two days ago, they started working on our house. Now it looks like our home is gone."