April 21, 2019

Cave collapse on Malta

In 2015 I blogged about the limestone and caves on Malta. I had visited the south coast, and seen the Blue Grotto at Wied Iz Zurrieq

On Easter Saturday 20 April 2019, the Times of Malta reported "Cave collapses on Qrendi coastline, forming short-lived natural arch. Għar Ħanex vanishes over two distinct phases"

A cave along Malta’s southern coast collapsed over Friday and Saturday, creating a short-lived limestone arch which only held up for hours before also giving way.

Għar Ħanex, which lay on a stretch of coastline on the outskirts of Qrendi between Għar Lapsi and Wied iż-Żurrieq, is believed to have initially collapsed on Good Friday.

That first collapse turned what used to be a cave into a new arch, prompting tentative comparisons with the now-defunct Azure Window, which caved in just over two years ago.

Within hours, the newly-formed arch also caved in, leaving a gaping hole where Għar Ħanex used to be.

The cave had already weathered some damage during last February's vicious storm. Fierce gales took their toll. 

The site is designated as a Special Area of Conservation, benefits from Natura 2000 protection. 

Natura 2000 is an EU-wide network of nature conservation areas which enjoy specific protection under the EU's Birds and Habitat Directives.

The onetime cave formed part of a series of coastal formations in the area which are known as Nuffied. These include a small cove known as il-Maqluba tal-baħar, the Ras il-Miġnuna natural arch, Ħalq it-Tafal and in-Nuffied iż-Żgħir.

See the Times of Malta for photos.

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