Yet another sinkhole has opened up in flood-hit Britain, the sixth this month, leaving one house on the brink of collapse and two more homes evacuated.
Police were called in at around 5.40pm yesterday after a 25ft-wide crater appeared underneath properties on Magdalen's Close in Ripon, North Yorkshire.
A fire service spokesperson said they had “successfully rescued” a dog at the property, and that there were no occupiers present at the time.
Last night police officers went from house to house warning neighbours about what had happened, as the British Geological Society warned that Ripon is one of the most at-risk areas for sinkholes in the whole country.
The region in north-east England is known for its large deposits of gypsum, a soft material that dissolves much quicker than the surrounding limestone - particularly after persistent heavy rainfall.
Images from the scene showed extensive damage to the affected property, and the fire service called in specialist engineers amid fears it would collapse.
The sinkhole is believed to be the sixth to have opened up across built-up areas and transport routes this month alone.
A house and three flats were evacuated after a crater opened up in a back garden in Croxley Green, near Watford on Sunday.
Sinkholes around the world
Sinkholes around the world
1/9 Dunedin, Florida
The rear portion of a residential home is consumed by a sink-hole November 14, 2013. According to reports, the large sink-hole began to form between two houses the morning of November 14, and grew to size of about 30 feet wide by 30 feet deep
2/9 Clermont, Florida
A building sits partially collapsed over a sink-hole at Summer Bay Resort near Disney World on August 12, 2013. The 40 to 60 foot sink-hole opened up under the resort building reportedly begining late August 11 into early August 12. There were no injuries or deaths reported
Gerardo Mora/Getty Images
3/9 Shenzhen, China
Rescuers prepare to move a dead body found in a sink-hole on a road on May 21, 2013. Five people died when a 33 feet wide sink-hole opened up at the gates of an industrial estate in Shenzhen, the southern Chinese boom town neighbouring Hong Kong
4/9 Chicago, Illinois
Workers prepare to pull a truck from a sink-hole that opened up on a residential street in the South Deering neighborhood on April 18, 2013. The driver of the truck was hospitalized after driving into the 15-feet-deep hole while on his way to work. Two other vehicles were also swallowed by the sink-hole
Scott Olson/Getty Images
5/9 Guangzhou, China
Workers use machinery to fill in a sink-hole that buildings collapsed into near a subway construction site. The hole measured about 1,000 square feet across and was around 30 feet deep, but no one was killed, according to a state media report
6/9 The Dead Sea, Israel
sink-holes created by the drying of the Dead Sea, near Kibbutz Ein Gedi, on November 10, 2011
Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images
7/9 Guatemala City, Guatemala
A man inspects a sink-hole formed in a house on July 19, 2011 in the north of Guatemala City. When neighbors heard the loud boom overnight they thought a cooking gas canister had detonated. Instead they found a deep sink-hole the size of a large pot. The sink-hole was 40 feet deep and 32 inches in diamete
Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images
8/9 Beijing, China
Workers use excavators to fill in a sink-hole which occured overnight on Shiliuzhuang road, in Beijing on April 26, 2011. A section of the road collapsed beneath a truck, slightly injuring the driver and a passenger, who both jumped out of the vehicle before it sank into the hole
9/9 Chevy Chase, Maryland
Utlity workers examine the scene of a car caught in a sink-hole caused by a broken water main, which collapsed part of Friendship Blvd. on December 3, 2010. No one was reported injured in the accident
Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty Images
On Saturday, 17 homes were evacuated after a giant 35ft-wide and 20ft-deep hole appeared in a quiet cul-de-sac in Hemel Hempstead, also in Hertfordshire.
Last week a 10-mile stretch of the M2 in north Kent was closed after a 15ft-deep hole was discovered in the central reservation, while in Barnehurst, southeast London a crater appeared just feet from a child's trampoline.
And at the start of February a teenager's car was swallowed up into a 30ft-deep sinkhole on a family's driveway in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.
In Ripon, where an ambulance was stood down after it became apparent there had again been no injuries caused by the sinkhole, Local resident Barry Dyason, 34, said: “Most of the people from the emergency services seem to have gone now, it's mainly people from the utility companies who are still there.
“This area is quite well known for gypsum deposits, and there have been properties affected by subsidence - but not sinkholes, that I've heard of.
“There's been some rain around here, but nothing like the floods seen in other parts of the country.
“It's alarming, you see these things reported on television but don't expect it to happen so close to you. Hopefully lightning wouldn't strike twice in such a small area.”