The residents of Kiruna, Sweden, who have resorted to drastic measures to deal with the rapidly sinking ground beneath them, caused by a local iron mine. The town’s authorities are planning on moving the whole city and its inhabitants 3.2 km (2 miles) to the east. Experts estimate that most of the structures in Kiruna will collapse into the expanding iron mines below it by 2050, so the plan to get everyone is already underway, and is expected to be mostly completed by 2040. Kiruna’s close proximity to the Arctic Circle means its dark and cold for much of the year making the infrastructure operation even more challenging. As part of the move, stores, offices, and houses will all be shifted. Some selected landmarks will be transferred brick by brick, or even lifted wholesale using cranes, but in most cases, buildings will be demolished and then rebuilt. The mine, it’s operated by the state-owned company Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB (LKAB). Every time iron ore is removed from below the surface, the ground subsides (a process known as ‘ground deformation’).
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