Large sinkhole appears on busy road in Indonesian city of Surabaya

The sinkhole measured roughly 30m wide and 15m deep. PHOTO: ANTARA

SURABAYA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A large sinkhole appeared in the middle of a busy road in Surabaya in East Java province on Tuesday evening (Dec 18), swallowing part of the four-lane Jalan Raya Gubeng.

The sinkhole measured roughly 30m wide and 15m deep.

The police have cordoned off the area and arranged a traffic detour.

Surabaya, Indonesia's second biggest city by population after Indonesia's capital city Jakarta, is located about 800km from Jakarta.

East Java Police chief, Inspector General Lucky Hermawan ,said there had been no reports of any injuries in the incident.

However, search and rescue teams were conducting a search for possible victims on Wednesday.

Thousands of vehicles use the Surabaya road daily, taking about five minutes to travel the entire length of Jalan Gubeng. But now the same distance will take them roughly an hour.

Mr Rudianto, 47, a resident of Kertajaya subdistrict who was about to drive through the location, said he saw trees and lampposts swaying by the roadside just before the incident.

"I thought it was an earthquake. I backed the car and went against the flow. People ran around asking for help, went out of their cars leaving their vehicle," Mr Rudianto said.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the sinkhole was caused by a construction error.

"The retaining wall was not able to withstand the load, especially during the rainy season," he said in a statement, adding that there was no connection between this incident and two active earthquake faults in Surabaya and Waru.

Surabaya Deputy Mayor Wisnu Sakti Buana said the sinkhole was related to the construction of a parking basement at Siloam Hospital.

"This is related to the project on the side of the road. The Siloam Hospital project. They were supposed to build a foundation first, but they didn't," Mr Buana said as quoted by

Surabaya Development Planning Agency head Eri Cahyadi said the incident was purely due to an error in the project.

Join ST's Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.