Samara: the Russian city being 'eaten alive' by sinkholes


They may look like stills from an apocalyptic horror film, but these images have become a daily reality for residents in a Russian city. 

Citizens of Samara, in south east Russia, live in fear of the ground literally disappearing beneath them after huge sinkholes have started to appear all over their city, leaving devastation in their wake.

The yawning underground caverns are all believed to have sprung up in recent weeks swallowing cars, buses and claiming at least one life.

The sinkholes, some large enough to swallow an entire truck, are believed to have been caused by ground subsidence.

It is thought the holes have been caused as ice thaws and melts into the ground, with the excess water causing soil decay underneath Samara's roads.

The massive craters have appeared in car parks, busy intersections, by the sides of roads, and on major and minor thoroughfares.

Samara is in the stretch zone and at the the confluence of the Volga and Samara Rivers denoting a thinner part of the crust, making the area more susceptible to stretch zone effects such as sinkholes.


The Balcans are in the stretch zone, as the singing reservoirs of Kiev and the bubbling mud in the Azov show. The Eurasian Plate is being pulled from Scandinavia through to the Himalayas, with river bottoms pulling apart and sinkholes appearing. The crust in a stretch zone will primarily give where it is thin, along river bottoms, but even in mountains there can be deep crevasses where the rock has fractured during past pole shift upheavals. Such crevasses allow lava to rise up, and a clue to this is the sulfur smell. Does this mean that volcanoes will emerge? Unless there is collateral pressure in the lava, such breaks in the crust do not result in volcanic action. Under the Balcans, the pressure is relieved by the volcanoes in the Mediterranean, ripping open as Africa continues to drop during its 7 of 10 roll.


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