OXFORD, N.S. — A large sinkhole that has swallowed trees and picnic tables in a Nova Scotia park has now taken a bite out of a parking lot.
The Town of Oxford said the unpredictable sinkhole remained relatively inactive throughout Thursday.
But it said the muddy hole has been “undercutting” the pavement of the nearby Lions Club parking lot, and pieces of pavement are now falling in.
Amy Tizzard, a geologist with the Nova Scotia Department of Energy and Mines, said the sinkhole is now 37 metres by 29.8 metres, up from 34 metres by 29 metres on Tuesday.
She said the sinkhole’s growth has slowed.
“However, it’s still unpredictable,” said Tizzard. “So we’ll continue to monitor the area.”
A nearby playground was removed after officials found hairline cracks on the pavement near the equipment.
Tizzard said she has been measuring the size of the hole daily, as well as surveying reference points across the parking lot to look for “subtle changes” in the surface.
She has also been recording and measuring cracks in the pavement and surrounding forest to see if the cracks are growing.
The spectacle has been drawing curious onlookers to the small town located roughly 30 minutes from the New Brunswick border.
Officials said the influx of visitors has caused a few fender-benders, and even a collision in which someone was injured.
“The public has to stay their distance and stay safe,” said Tizzard.
Police are asking people to use caution when travelling near the sinkhole, situated near a giant statue of a blueberry with cartoonish eyes and a smile — a mascot for a town that promotes itself as the “blueberry capital of Canada.”