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See: Huge rockfall blocks road in Dordogne, south-west France

The 4,000-tonnes of rubble will take many months to clear

The 4,000-tonne landslide happened just outside of Excideuil in Dordogne on Friday evening (February 2) Pic: Traveller70 / Shutterstock

A cliff face overhanging a road in Dordogne collapsed on Friday (February 2), narrowly avoiding a local man and leaving 4,000 tonnes of debris blocking the road. Authorities say it will take many months to clear.

The cliff face collapsed onto the departmental road RD76 leading to Excideuil (Dordogne). One resident told TF1 that shortly earlier, he had been standing just where it would fall.

“It would have fallen on me three-quarters of an hour earlier,” he said. 

“It was like an earthquake. My bed is against the wall and was jolted 10cm”.

The commander of the local firemen, Thierry Laguionie, was one of the first called to the scene.

“At first it was just a call for an electric cable that had fallen on the road,” he told TF1.

However, the job would clearly require much more work, with 3,000 to 4,000 tonnes of rock debris blocking the road.

“With a truck that can shift around 30 to 35 tonnes, you can start to see the problem that we’ll have to clear all the rubble”.

The landslide caused no injuries, however the road has been closed, ten homes have no running water and one resident has been evacuated as a precaution. 

Specialists have been called to visit the site on February 5, however, the huge rocks are likely to remain for several months.

It is speculated that the limestone cliff had become fragile due to the region’s heavy autumn rains.

"Water seeps into the crevasses, and when it has split the cliff apart, everything just collapses,” another resident told TF1. “It happens frequently in the region”. 

Read more:

France’s ‘catastrophe naturelle’ insurance system: how to claim

Watch: landslide closes major train route from France into Italy

Medical cannabis farm and factory plan divides Dordogne village 

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