Shocking footage capturing the moment a sinkhole swallowed cars, walls, pavements and part of a street running along a whole block in Baltimore has emerged.
The video shows the street as it suddenly sinks into the ground, swallowing about a dozen parked cars, while horrified onlookers cry out.
The sinkhole, which occurred after two days of heavy rain in the region, was so large that many people mistook it for a landslide.
There have been no reported injuries from the incident.
The Mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, said emergency services cordoned off the area around 26th Street and train services were suspended because the railway was covered in debris.
Baltimore, in the state of Maryland, had been drenched by days of torrential downpours, raising the risk of landslides and flash flooding.
Ms Rawlings-Blake said she would examine claims that residents had previously raised concerns about the street.
“We’re extremely blessed that we're talking about property damage and damage to the streets and not any loss of life,” she added.
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
Some of the properties in the surrounding area date back to the 1890s and are being tested for structural safety.
Storms and flooding that battered the UK earlier this year led to a spate of incidents across the country.