My hope is that drastic weather changes like this don’t cause too many of the same problems in other countries. It’s disturbing how random the sizes can be, from varied pockets in farmer’s fields to depressions large enough to swallow an entire playground.

Craters of different sizes have been seen in a vast area of land stretching across eastern and southern China’s Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Sichuan, Hunan, Jiangsu and Guangxi province, state media reported.

Cheng Jie, a geological expert from the China University of Geoscience, said: “I think it is very unlikely that the sinkholes were caused by human activities. It is mainly a result of natural causes, like the sharp weather changes from extreme droughts to heavy rainstorms.”

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