China: Over 550 pits of various sizes found in the past three years have seriously affected the agriculture and dilapidated houses in central China's Hunan Province

Feb 20, 2012

Pits have dotted Yuejiaqiao Twon in Yiyang City of Hunan, with big ones having a diameter of seven to eight meters and small ones two to three meters.

Local villagers said these pits have come into existence since 2008 and new ones would appear every day in the past six months.

Varying in depth, most of the pits concentrate by rivers and in fields, and have occupied more than half of the town's arable land. This has seriously affected the local farming and irrigation.

What is worse, the land subsidence has cracked many houses and forced many residents to leave their homes.

Xiong Yuliang's heart still fluttered with fear when he recalled the shake hitting his 10-year-old house this January, and he thought it was an earthquake.

I heard cracking sound and we stormed out because we thought it was earthquake," said he.

The houses of 126 families were already dilapidated by these pits and some houses may collapse any minute.

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