One of the videos was taken by fisherman Dennis McIntyre, who posted it on Facebook and said he “wasn’t expecting” to see a huge amount of chalk breaking off the cliff face and plunging into the water below.
David Waterfield, another eyewitness, also captured footage of the event as he was taking pictures of his dog near the Samphire Hoe nature reserve in Kent on Wednesday.
He told ITV he had stopped to chat to a fisherman when they heard a “loud bang” around the cliffs, and as he already had his camera out, he pointed it towards the sound.
The footage shows tonnes of chalk collapsing into the waters below Samphire Hoe park, as a section of the cliff buckles and falls.
Mr Waterfield said: “I’ve lived down this neck of the woods for nearly all my life, right next to the most famous cliffs in the world.
“You hear about it, you see the remnants of [cliff falls], but to actually see it in person, it was really quite impressive.”
A spokesperson for Getlink, which owns the Samphire How and nearby Eurotunnel terminal, told KentOnline: “It looks as if it was filmed from the sea wall at the How, but the part of the cliff which has fallen into the sea isn’t actually part of the Hoe itself, so has had no impact.”
The collapse came after weeks of torrential rain and high winds, which may have caused the chalk cliffs to weaken.
According to the National Trust, which looks after 10km of the White Cliffs of Dover, the cliff line retreats by about 1cm a year due to the elements and storm waves, but occasionally large chunks can be lost in a sudden cliff fall.
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