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Etretat cliffs: a third collapse in less than a year


Part of the cliff at Tilleuls beach is once again in danger of collapsing. A phenomenon partly due to coastal erosion and global warming.

This is the third landslide in a year on this Normandy beach.

A stone arch collapsed a few days ago in Le Tilleul, a town located south of Étretat (Seine-Maritime).


It does not surprise me, and unfortunately we must expect another landslide

," laments the mayor of the town, Raphaël Lesueur, interviewed by the local newspaper



Part of the chalk cliff threatens to come off, as feared by an apparent crack.

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The city councilor fears that a new collapse will occur during a period of high attendance, especially on the arrival of fine weather.

A prefectural decree prohibits access to the cliff, another prohibits climbing the scree.

The mayor does not plan to block access to the beach “

so as not to penalize people who are serious

”, he indicates to



Despite the safety instructions posted on panels, walkers still venture to the foot of these fragile cliffs, at their own risk.

A sometimes dangerous behavior which resulted in 2022 in the death of three tourists who fell while trying to take a selfie at the edge of the void.

Read alsoDeadly selfies on the cliffs: in Étretat, the safety of tourists turns into a puzzle

Cliffs weakened by erosion and climate change

Two landslides recently occurred on this same beach, one on December 5, 2021, the other on January 1, 2022. The latter was even filmed live by a walker (see the video).

Phenomena that are largely explained by coastal erosion and global warming.

Stéphane Costa, professor of geography at the University of Caen, then explained on France 2 that with "

global warming and an induced rise in sea level, the attack of the waves at the foot of the cliffs will be much more intense, and therefore these phenomena of collapse are likely to be more frequent


Read alsoÉtretat, jewel in danger

The cliff is attacked at its base by the sea and the pebbles and in height by the infiltration of rainwater in the chalk.

The coastline is receding on average by 20 cm per year, according to the prefecture of Seine-Maritime.

The coast of Tilleuls is particularly affected since its coastline has receded by 35 meters in a century, or 35 cm per year.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-26

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