Dead Sea peril: sinkholes swallow up the unwary

February 14, 2010 • Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Fred Meyerson for this article. The article points to population growth leading to increasing water uses and falling water tables.

Eli Raz was peering into a narrow hole in the Dead Sea shore when the earth opened up and swallowed him. Fearing he would never be found alive in the 30-foot- deep pit, he scribbled his will on an old postcard.

After 14 hours a search party pulled him from the hole unhurt, and five years later the 69-year-old geologist is working to save others from a similar fate, leading an effort to map the sinkholes that are spreading on the banks of the fabled saltwater lake.

These underground craters can open up in an instant, sucking in whatever lies above and leaving the surrounding area looking like an earthquake zone.

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