Spectacular images show the terrifying moment 700 cubic metres of rocks broke away in the Savoie region on Sunday and slammed into the protective barrier of a major road, forcing the suspension of all cross-border trains on the Chambery-Turn line.
The footage, captured by Loic Borella, show the exact moment the bolders came hurtling towards the RD 1006 road that leads to the Mont-Cenis pass into Italy’s Susa Valley.
Regional authorities in Savoie said the rockslide occurred at 5:15pm on Sunday when “boulders with a total volume of 700 cubic metres” slammed into a protective barrier along the road that was being used by motorists at the time.
Miraculously, no injuries have been reported. The rockslide was likely caused by the torrential rains which struck much of France over the weekend.
The landslide forced the suspension of all cross-border trains on the Chambery-Turin line, as well as TER regional trains in the Maurienne valley, French rail operator SNCF said.
“It’s closed until at least Wednesday inclusive, but we expect it to last longer,” SNCF told AFP. “Access to the site is still prohibited by the prefecture because there is still a risk of landslides. As soon as we can access it, we can establish a diagnosis and check the damage.”
The Frejus tunnel connecting France and Italy under the Alps has also been closed to heavy trucks, with a diversion in place along the the Mont Blanc tunnel or the A8 motorway.
— Chris Ogilvie (@Ogilvie_CJ) August 27, 2023