Emergency workers assess an area where a 60-foot-diameter hole opened Wednesday near a mobile home park in Tarpon Shores, Fla. Crews evacuated about 20 residents in six homes
that were in close proximity to the hole, according to authorities at the scene. (Douglas R. Clifford, Tampa Bay Times)


About 20 residents in six homes at a mobile home park along Florida's Gulf Coast were evacuated Wednesday after a 60-foot-diameter, 35-foot-deep hole opened in the ground.

The residents at the Tarpon Shores Mobile Home Park in Tarpon Springs were taken to the park's nearby clubhouse as a precaution while officials took a closer look at the hole, said city spokeswoman Judy Staley.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that authorities were investigating if a water line break is responsible or if the deep hole is a naturally occurring sinkhole.

Florida is highly prone to sinkholes because there are underground caverns of limestone, a porous rock that easily dissolves in water.

Major Jeff Young, a Tarpon Springs police spokesman, said an existing sinkhole opened in the same location six weeks ago.

In March 2013, a man in nearby Seffner disappeared when a sinkhole opened under his bedroom. His body was never recovered.