Part of Dover's White Cliffs Collapses Into Sea
'Substantial' rockfall, but no one injured
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2012 10:16 AM CDT
The white cliffs of Dover are seen from the air on April 7, 2011 in Dover, England.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The white cliffs of Dover experienced a "substantial" rockfall today, causing a large section of the cliff face to shear off and collapse into the English Channel. Rain, first freezing and then expanding after being absorbed in the chalk cliffs, may have caused the collapse, the Guardian reports. "No one was injured but it does serve as a reminder that if people are walking along the cliff-top or underneath, that the cliff can crumble away," says a coast guard spokesperson.

The cliffs have experienced other large rockfalls, with a significant one last January. "I have seen pictures of the rockfall and the most noticeable thing is you can see this big patch of white on the cliff-face," says a local. January's rockfall "happened during the day and was quite scary, with people screaming on the beach saying it had fallen. When the cliff does fall, it is quite muted and sounds like a lorry going down the hill. There isn't any physical warning beforehand. When it happens, it just happens."

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
Moon
Mar 14, 2012 7:55 PM CDT
Bad reporting - no before and after pictures.
ddhartma
Mar 14, 2012 3:12 PM CDT
Loved visiting the castle and walking through the tunnels made in the chalk. The cliffs and their tunnels played an important role during WWII.
Fatquah
Mar 14, 2012 12:52 PM CDT
Uh, yeah, that's how they FORMED.