two cliffs fall apart in a few days near Étretat


Article written by

J. Debraux, X. Haglund, France 3 Normandie, M. Le Rue – France 2

France Televisions

A landslide took place on Saturday, January 1, on the beach of Tilleul in Seine-Maritime, near the cliffs of Étretat. This is the second in a few days. A new, somewhat reassuring illustration of erosion, which gradually sees the sea nibbling away at the land.

An entire section of a cliff collapsed into the sea, sSaturday January 1. The images were shot by an amateur on the beach of Tilleul (Seine-Maritime), near Étretat. “At the start, it’s very impressive. There is a whole pile of dust that came in, everyone was rubbing their eyes.”, reports Adam Caprin, the videographer. On the beach, huge blocks of limestone have covered the sand in places. The mayor of the town, Raphael Lesueur, can only see the damage.

A few days earlier, he had published a decree prohibiting pedestrian traffic near the cliffs, aware that landslides could recur. On the Normandy coast, near the mythical cliffs of Étretat, the coast is eaten away a little more by erosion every day. The cliff recedes an average of 20 cm each year. “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 this phenomenon of collapse may be more frequent”, explains Stéphane Costa, professor of geography at the University of Caen (Calvados). On average, nearly 60 landslides are recorded each year on the Normandy coast.


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