Coast guard closes emblematic Greek beach after rockfall

Relieved Sharon Gifford leaving the beach after the landslide

At least seven people have been injured after a rockfall at a popular beach on the Greek Island of Zakynthos.

The beach, also known as "shipwreck beach", is popular with tourists and can be reached only by boat.

Coast guard officials told the Evening Standard that those hurt had not sustained any life-threatening injuries.

A couple of small vessels overturned from the force of the fall and the subsequent high waves.

Fire department rescue crews headed to the area accompanied by a sniffer dog, while the coast guard evacuated the beach and banned boats from approaching until further notice.

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And the more it hovers just off shore - a distinct possibility - the more potentially deadly storm surge it pushes on-shore. You're going to be displaced from your home in the coastal areas. "It's a statewide threat for the states involved".

A total of seven people were treated in hospital for injuries, including a 34-year-old Czech woman with a fractured vertebra, the government said in a statement. She was hospitalised together with her husband and two children, who suffered minor injuries.

Greek news outlet Nooz said early reports that said three people were injured and others were missing were inaccurate. She said they heard an "almighty cracking sound" as the sheet of rock crashed down onto the beach, flooding the busy beach and capsizing boats. He believed more were coming, so he started running.

"So far, we haven't found any trapped people but we will continue searching", a fire brigade official said.

Two small boats just off Navagio beach - nicknamed "Shipwreck Beach", after a freighter shipwreck in 1980 - also capsized as a result of the rockslide.

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