• Germany's news in English

Gigantic crack spooks officials on Baltic island

The Local · 25 Jan 2012, 10:28

Published: 25 Jan 2012 10:28 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Authorities from the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area national park have warned that the fracture has been widening, with smaller cracks developing off the main fault. It currently measures up to 10 centimetres wide.

“We are preparing for a catastrophe,” park official Frank Martitz told the Bild daily on Wednesday. He said the crack was not always visible, meaning those on the island should exercise extra caution when walking. Hiddensee is closed to car traffic.

And whilst he said that cracks in the upper surface of the earth are not an uncommon occurrence, Martitz explained that their two-kilometre fracture had been worsened by both high sea levels gnawing away at the Hiddensee’s cliffs and heavy rainfall over the past six months.

The island, which measures just 3.7 kilometres at its widest point and 205 metres at its narrowest, is a popular destination for tourists due to its natural beauty. The limestone and chalky ground mean, however, that the cliffs can be prone to collapse.

Coastal paths in the Dornbush area and coastline areas have been deemed unsafe until further notice and cordoned off from the public.

Story continues below…

A landslide on neighbouring Baltic island of Rügen in December 2011 has heightened concerns of a similar event further. A 10-year-old girl was buried alive under the several thousand cubic metres of chalky earth – similar to that which makes up Hiddensee. Her mother and older sister were also buried but managed to climb to freedom.

The Local/DPA/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

11:26 January 25, 2012 by SmittyBoy
Strange, I don't see the crack in the photo. How do we know this story is true?
11:37 January 25, 2012 by smokin
It says in the story... "crack was not always visible" The photo must have been taken when it wasn't visible.
13:31 January 25, 2012 by mshameemahmed
18:03 January 25, 2012 by Englishted
Matching island and €uro.
04:19 January 26, 2012 by rwk
N doubt, due to fracking for gas.

just kidding!
09:42 January 26, 2012 by mos101392
It's an alien ship trying to get to the surface!
18:48 January 27, 2012 by DES_Toronto
Is this land going to slide into the ocean? If so, prepare for a terrible tsunami along nearby coasts.
23:05 January 27, 2012 by yuri_nahl
Comment #3 has a good pic of it. It looks like the cracks from earthquake effects seen around San Francisco. I would be afraid of a tsunami as someone else has stated. Comment #7
Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd