Giant sinkhole widens near World Cup village

A giant sinkhole has swallowed cars and damaged the homes of some 150 families living in a poor neighborhood in a northern Brazilian city that's one of 12 hosting the World Cup matches.

A top aide to President Dilma Rousseff arrived Friday to Natal to oversee efforts to provide aid and housing to those affected when heavy rains gradually opened a hole in the earth beneath a neighborhood a short distance from a coastal road popular with fans visiting the city. Amazingly, nobody was killed.

Integration Minister Francisco Teixeira said that once displaced families are cared for, the government will develop a plan to stabilize the soil and rebuild the drainage system to prevent another tragedy. Authorities also plan to condemn and raze several homes in harm's way if the ground cedes further.

The crater was formed as a result of heavy rains that have battered the city for days. Natal next hosts a Group D match between Italy and Uruguay on Tuesday.

- AP

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