BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal is meeting for the first time with the families displaced since August by a massive sinkhole in Assumption Parish.

Jindal planned a Tuesday afternoon visit with residents and local officials in the Bayou Corne area, a sparsely populated swampland about 40 miles south of Baton Rouge.

Scientists say the sinkhole formed after the collapse of an underground salt cavern operated by Houston-based Texas Brine.

The governor had been largely absent from the public response to the sinkhole until last week. Displaced residents had criticized his absence and local media highlighted it.

About 350 people living in the area have been under an evacuation order for more than seven months. Texas Brine officials say they were beginning to contact residents Monday to discuss buyouts and settlement offers.

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