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Coastguards warn of cliff falls after collapse near Samphire Hole, Dover

Coastguards are warning people to stay away from the bottoms and edges of cliffs after a series of collapses.

This includes two enormous chalkfalls near Samphire Hoe, Dover, last week.

Footage of the cliff fall. Credit: Kerry King

Despite that five people had to be warned to move away from edges at neighbouring Aycliffe at the weekend.

HM Coastguard says that recent rainy weather has resulted in unstable areas near the coast and sea.

Dai Jones, Coastguard duty controller, said:”Please do be careful near cliffs.

“Some of them are really unstable at the moment and could easily collapse.

“ Stay well back, wear appropriate sturdy footwear and ensure that you check tide times and weather before setting out.

“If you or someone else is in difficulty call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

Thousands of tonnes of chalk fell into the sea near Samphire Hoe last Wednesday. There were two collapses just 10 seconds apart.

This was just the third time a collapse of this magnitude has been recorded on the cliffs in almost 20 years.

In 2012, a massive collapse brought both residents and tourists to the cliff edge to survey the damage.

The situation led to the Coastguard issuing a warning as people were sitting on top of an overhang caused by the subsidence that was at risk of falling.

The cliffs at Samphire Hoe
The cliffs at Samphire Hoe

Back in 2001, a section of the cliff as large as a football field collapsed into the sea.

Last week footage showed onlookers gasping as a section of the cliff collapsed into the English Channel. Just 10 seconds later, a second, far larger section falls from higher up, crashing into the water.

A spokesman for Getlink, which owns the Samphire Hoe and the nearby Eurotunnel terminal, said: “It looks as if it was filmed from the sea wall at the Hoe, but the part of the cliff which has fallen into the sea isn’t actually part of the Hoe itself, so has had no impact.”

A cliff fall also happened near Newquay, Cornwall on Sunday, with rocks falling and burying a family dog.

A large gap, which has been cordoned off by coastguards, opened up in the coastal path between Seaford Head and Hope Gap in East Sussex at the weekend.

A Coastguard rescue team also investigated a rock slip in Dorset and cordoned the area off.

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