This update is the 16th article in this Opednews series about the Bayou Corne sinkhole.
BACKGROUND: In Spring of 2012, Louisiana's Corne and Grand Bayou residents noticed strange bubbling in the bayou for many weeks, and they reported smelling burnt diesel fuel and sulfur. Suddenly a sinkhole the size of three football fields appeared on Aug. 3, swallowing scores of 100-foot tall cypress trees. The sinkhole resulted from the failure of Texas Brine Company's abandoned underground brine cavern. The Department of Natural Resources issued a Declaration of Emergency on Aug. 6, and 150 families were evacuated.
For maps, diagrams and additional information, please see the fifteen previous installments in this series, listed at the end of this article.
NAPOLEONVILLE, LA: All work at the infamous Bayou Corne Sinkhole and adjacent areas has ceased until further notice due to an increase in seismic activity that may warn of another cave-in.
On May 5th the Assumption Parish Police Jury noted that "Seismic monitoring had detected a sustained increase in the trend of micro-earthquake (MEQ) activity in the area around the sinkhole and Oxy 3 over the past week, and a marked uptick in MEQs in the past day. This pattern of MEQ increase has been identified as an indicator of likely shifting and sloughing in the sinkhole and the area below it, based on past observations."
A recent measurement of the sinkhole showed that it was nearly 100 feet longer than the 882-foot HMS Titanic, as the sinkhole currently measures at least 975 feet across.
On May 6, On Wings of Care made their seventh sinkhole flyover. Pilot Bonny Schumaker reported, "The pool of liquid did not seem too much larger than it appeared to us a month ago (April 2), but the dead and dying trees to the west were more evident. Appreciable amounts of rainbow sheen still cover the north and northeastern parts of the pool.
"Today the lighting on some ripples near center of the sinkhole gave an unusual foam-like appearance. We also noticed that while there was still much equipment placed all around the hole and especially near the birms and roads still under construction, there appeared to be little or no work in progress. This is consistent with reports of increased microearthquake and other seismic activity in the area during the past few days."
Dr. Schumaker continued, "The recent rains have brought much water to the surrounding swampland" and made them look beautifully green. The tremendous amount of drilling in the area is more evident now than before."