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Increased seismic activity halts work at giant Louisiana sinkhole

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Aerial image February 20, 2013 (Source: Assumption Parish OEP) Aerial image February 20, 2013 (Source: Assumption Parish OEP)
Aerial image February 20, 2013 (Source: Assumption Parish OEP) Aerial image February 20, 2013 (Source: Assumption Parish OEP)
Aerial image February 20, 2013 (Source: Assumption Parish OEP) Aerial image February 20, 2013 (Source: Assumption Parish OEP)
GRAND BAYOU, LA (WAFB) -

Officials say they have put a hold on all work directly connected to the giant Louisiana sinkhole in Assumption Parish due to increased seismic activity.

The seismic monitoring in the past 24 hours turned up what appears to be an increase in the underground movement of fluids in the area of the failed Oxy 3 cavern.

Just like in the past, officials say the underground movement is also likely connected to trees falling into the sinkhole and an increase in hydrocarbon odors.

Analysts say even though there appears to be no additional significant threat to the general area, until the underground activity slows down again, operations directly on the sinkhole have been suspended.

The main sinkhole has reached more than 800 feet in diameter and the western wall continues to collapse.

Two weeks ago, officials reported about 5,000 square feet fell in on the southwest side of the sinkhole, officials call this sloughing.

According to Texas-Brine, sloughing is considered a normal part of the stabilization process; the sinkhole surface area will get bigger but the depth will become shallower. In August 2012, the depth of the sinkhole was 490 feet. In January 2013, the depth was just over 200 feet.

As has been reported numerous times previously, natural gas bubbling continues at isolated sites near the center and around the perimeter of the sinkhole.

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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