The Malta Independent 25 October 2020, Sunday

Rock-slide buries picturesque Fomm ir-Rih bay

Albert Galea Monday, 10 August 2020, 15:34 Last update: about 4 months ago

A natural rock-slide buried the picturesque Fomm ir-Rih bay over the past weekend.

Fomm ir-Rih is a small bay situated in the limits of Mgarr in the west of Malta. Accessibility is not its strong point, with only a solitary dust path with a steep incline leading to the bay, but the fact that not many people go through the adventure of accessing it is one of its most drawing factors.

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Pictures uploaded by the Facebook page It-Temp Madwarna on Monday morning showed how the clay slope above the secluded bay had collapsed right down to the sea, leaving a cloud of dust in its wake.

Nobody was injured when the cliff-side collapsed, however a person – Maria Scerri – happened to be on site and snapped some photos of the bay just as the collapse occurred.

The pictures show that most of the bay is now covered by the clay rubble from what was once the overlooking slope.

It is not the first time that the area has seen such a collapse. During the period of the Order of St. John, a tower was once perched on top of the bay.  Known as the Blat MogħżaTower, it was one of the many watchtowers built under the rule of Grandmaster Lascaris.  Construction of the tower is dated to around 1637.

However, the tower was built on the edge of a cliff face which began to disappear underneath it.  The Order of St. John’s engineer Charles de Mondion reported in 1730 – less than a century after it had been built – that the tower was in ruins.  It was never re-built.

The bay now, it seems, has suffered the same natural fate as the tower did almost 300 years ago.

Pictures: Maria Scerri / It-Temp Madwarna

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