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Aug/18

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Berezniki – a City of Sinkholes

Berezniki is the second largest city in the Perm region with a population of about 145,000 people, a large industrial center located 191 km north of Perm.

The city stands on a large deposit of potassium and magnesium salts that have been mine-produced for decades. Berezniki on Google Maps. Photos by: Lana Sator.

Administrative and household building in the zone of one of the sinkholes.

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 1

As a result, it turned out that a significant part of the residential districts and enterprises of the city is located directly above the mines. In some areas, mine cavities are located only 250-300 meters from the surface.

Mines are flooded with groundwater leading to the formation of sinkholes that occur regularly in the city, which literally falls through the ground. This is the main reason why this industrial city became known throughout Russia and even abroad.

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 2

This sinkhole in the forest located at some distance from Berezniki was nicknamed “Distant Relative” by locals.

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 3

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 4

In total, as of the summer of 2018, the city has 10 sinkholes. Special resettlement zones were organized, several dozen residential houses were recognized as unfit for living. The rate of subsidence of the soil in certain areas reaches several centimeters per year.

Flooded factory of technical salt.

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 5

Operating heat and power plant near the sinkhole.

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 6

Abandoned factory of technical salt.

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 7

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 8

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 9

Building of the canteen on the edge of the sinkhole.

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 10

Flooded structures.

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 11

Still exploited dumps of the potash factory in the immediate vicinity of the sinkhole.

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 12

The fourth sinkhole – part of the roundabout.

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 13

Flooded garages.

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 14

Remains of the mine-building administration.

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 15

This building falls apart in half.

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 16

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 17

Sinkholes look especially picturesque from above.

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 18

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 19

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 20

Abandoned apartment buildings.

Sinkholes in Berezniki city, Perm region, Russia, photo 21

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