Landslide warning for coastal visitors

PUBLISHED: 12:11 31 December 2012

A man tries to free a child from a previous mudslide at Charmouth. Coastguards say people risk becoming trapped again following recent falls. Picture: Jess Douglas

A man tries to free a child from a previous mudslide at Charmouth. Coastguards say people risk becoming trapped again following recent falls. Picture: Jess Douglas

Archant

Coastguards urge people to stay clear of danger areas as more cliff falls are expected in West Dorset

Coastguards are urging people to stay clear of crumbling cliffs along the West Dorset and East Devon coastline.

They say they risk being buried beneath landslides or trapped in mud.

Recent heavy rain has brought down a section of the cliffs at Lyme Regis and Charmouth in recent days – and more could follow, warn experts.

Coastguards say people should observe warnings and closures at cliff edges and stay away from these areas because of the danger that more land could collapse.

“With the poor weather continuing, we’re dealing with a number of landslips and mudslides along the Devon and Dorset coastline,” said Simon Dennis, of Portland Coastguard.

“Sections of beach and cliff near Charmouth have suffered from cliff falls and mudslides.

“In Lyme Regis, coastguards and Dorset Police are dealing with an area to the west of the town, with very significant movement, including buildings overhanging the cliff edge.

“The current weather means water is draining from land very rapidly, causing a layer to form in cracks on cliffs. “Large sections of our coast are now very vulnerable to movement, and even in dryer weather, any sharp frost would bring expansion behind sections of cliff causing further falls. “Areas of mudslide are prone to drying out and forming a crust. Although these may look solid, they will not support a person’s weight.”


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