Oregon sinkhole
Monster sinkhole swallows up Oregon highwayOregon Department of Transportation

The largest sinkhole in the region in 20 years caused chaos for travellers, as a section of motorway was cordoned off by the Oregon Department of Transportation. The enormous sinkholes damaged one of the main thoroughfares in southern Oregon and will need around 49,700 cubic metres of material to repair. The first one appeared in December after torrential rain in Harbor town, with a second one appearing last week, measuring 80ft (24.4m) in diameter.

"It's a monster for sure," said Jared Castle, Oregon DOT spokesman for southwest Oregon, as reported by the Washington Post. "This is a very unusual event and is a sinkhole of a magnitude that we don't see but once every couple decades."

Sinkholes and landslides are a frequent occurrence in the region due to its geography. "It's just part of the battle of having the Oregon Coast Highway located where it's at," Castle said. "It's a road built in a place where Mother Nature never intended for there to be a road."

Kyle Rice, a local drone hobbyist, uploaded several aerial videos of the massive sinkholes to YouTube. "I was given permission to fly a little closer today. Due to the weather, I couldn't stay up for very long at a time, but I was still able to get a few useful shots."

There were no reported fatalities or casualties, and no cars were swallowed by the new sinkhole, which opened up in a parking lot between the Fireside Diner and a Chevron gas station, along US 101 in Harbor.

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) said in a Facebook post that the sinkhole and slide resulted from a series of storms and torrential rain. The ODOT wants the road partially opened within a week, but completion of repairs could take at least eight weeks.