New Zealand sinkhole reveals glimpse into 60,000-year-old volcano

The sinkhole on a dairy farm near Rotorua on New Zealand’s North Island appeared after heavy rainfall. Above, a frame grab of the chasm from TVNZ video footage. (TVNZ via AFP)
Updated 07 May 2018

New Zealand sinkhole reveals glimpse into 60,000-year-old volcano

WELLINGTON: A new sinkhole on a North Island farm as deep as four double-decker buses and almost the length of two football fields has grabbed the attention of New Zealand volcanologists.
The chasm appeared after heavy rainfall near the town of Rotorua and left a jagged scar on the landscape, exposing rock deposits from 60,000 years ago.
Experts believe rain dissolved underground limestone over thousands of years, eventually causing the ground to collapse and create the canyon.
“This is pretty spectacular, it’s a lot bigger than the ones I’d normally see,” volcanologist Brad Scott said of the chasm measuring 20 meters (66 foot) deep and 200 meters (660 feet) long.
Scott said the dairy farm where the fissure appeared lay on the crater of a long-dormant volcano.

“What I see in the bottom of the hole is the original 60,000-year-old volcanic deposit that came out of this crater,” he told TVNZ.
Farmer Colin Tremain said the sinkhole appeared overnight last week and was spotted by one of his workers during an early morning round to attend the cows.
While such holes were common on the property, this was by far the largest he said, admitting there was little he could do to stop his land disappearing in such dramatic fashion.
“(I’ll) put a fence around it and forget about it, waste of time filling it in,” he told Radio NZ.


‘Corona cake’ spreading fast in Gaza

Updated 03 April 2020

‘Corona cake’ spreading fast in Gaza

  • The head of the Al-Nada bakery in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza has created a ‘corona cake’ depicting a woman wearing a blue face mask
  • He first posted the design on social media and now dozens of people are ordering them each day

KHAN YUNIS, Palestine: As he watched the world trying to raise awareness about the new coronavirus and convince people to stay at home, Palestinian baker Eyad Abu Rezqa cooked up an idea.
The head of the Al-Nada bakery in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza has created a ‘corona cake’ depicting a woman wearing a blue face mask, aiming to remind people of the importance of social distancing.
He first posted the design on social media and now dozens of people are ordering them each day in the impoverished Palestinian enclave, he said.
“Straight away it got great interest, customers starting saying ‘I want that cake’,” Abu Rezqa told AFP.
“Every day our clients’ demand for the mask cake is increasing.”
He stressed he was not belittling the risk of the deadly disease which has killed more than 50,000 people but trying to keep spirits up while promoting awareness.
So far Gaza has 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19, all of whom are in isolation, according to health authorities in the Hamas-run strip.
Like much of the world, authorities have put in place strict social distancing rules to try to prevent contagion but have not yet closed all non-essential businesses.
The staff making the cakes are wearing protective clothing, Abu Rezqa pointed out.