A sinkhole has caused a villa in the Summer Bay Resort, about 10 miles west of Disney World in central Florida, to partially collapse early Monday morning, prompting an immediate evacuation of the building, reports said.
The sinkhole is about 40 feet to 50 feet in diameter, and appeared to be getting larger and deeper, according to reports.
Tony Cuellar, chief of Lake County Fire Rescue Battalion, told Associated Press that about 30 percent of the villa, a three-story structure, collapsed at around 3 a.m. EDT on Monday. But, authorities had been called to the site much earlier, late on Sunday night, after windows had cracked and popping noises were heard from within the building.
Cuellar added that the villa housed 24 units and about 20 people were staying in it at the time of the collapse. No injuries have been reported, and the rest of the building, which is currently slightly tilted with multiple cracks, is also likely to collapse soon, CBS News reported, citing its affiliate WKMG-TV.
Luis Perez, a vacationer who was staying at a villa near the one that sank, told WKMG-TV that he was walking toward the front desk to report a power outage when he noticed firefighters and police officials near the building.
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"I started walking toward where they were at and you could see the building leaning and you could see a big crack at the base of the building," Perez said.
Earlier this year, Jeffrey Bush, a Florida man died when he was swallowed by a sinkhole in February. Bush, 37, was sleeping in his family home in Seffner, Fla., when he was sucked into a hole that opened up under his home.
According to an earlier AP report, the first half of the year is considered as the start of Florida’s “sinkhole season,” as it coincides with the state’s rainy season.
“Florida is famous for bugs, alligators, pythons, hurricanes and now sinkholes," Larry McKinnon, a Hillsborough sheriff's office spokesman, told AP at the time. "I think our salvation is that for most of the time, our weather is picture-perfect."