Heavy rain has triggered a huge cliff fall at West Bay - the second in the space of a week.

The UK Coastguards was contacted by Dorset Police at approximately 8.20am this morning.

It is believed heavy rain overnight caused the cliff fall at East Beach, which has covered the beach and taken away a section of the cliff path.
It is believed that no one was in the area at the time of the fall.

West Bay Coastguard Rescue Team were at the scene for the majority of the day, with Dorset Police, Dorset Fire and Rescue Service and Dorset County Council. 

The area is reported to be very unsafe and urgent action is being taken to erect signage warning members of the public to stay away from the area.

The beach from West Bay to Freshwater has been closed until the area can be made safe.

UK Coastguard is advising members of the public to stay away from the area until further notice.

A spokesman for the UK Coastguard said: "The cliffs along the UK coastline are continually eroding and we've seen a number of cliff collapses in recent weeks. It's impossible to predict when the next piece might fall or how big it will be.

"It's very clear that cliffs are very unstable in places and we really can't stress enough how important it is to keep back from the edge. There is no 'safe' place to be.

"When standing at the bottom of a cliff, we would always advise people that they shouldn't stand less than the height of the cliff away. That means that if the cliff is 25 metres high, don't go closer than 25 metres towards it.

"Don't be tempted to go and investigate and don't risk going to the edge to get a dramatic picture.

"One of our biggest problems is tackling the 'selfie culture' where people take risks to get a dramatic photograph of themselves on a dangerous cliff edge – no selfie or photograph is worth risking your life for."

Dorset Echo:

Simon Miles from Lyme Bay RIB Charter, who took footage of the fall yesterday morning, said: "This is a large fall in comparison to the several of the previous ones. 

"Heavy rainfall would have contributed to the fall. 

"These cliff are prone to crumbling and falling but this is of significant size. 

"Thankfully, due to the time of the fall the beach is likely to have empty. 
"Currently the beach and cliff footpath is closed.

From a tourism perspective, any cliff fall is a concern but thankfully this happened before the school holidays and at a time of day when the beach was empty. 

Phil Sterling, Dorset County Council coast and countryside manager, added: "We believe this to be a significant cliff fall of around 1,500 to 2,000 tonnes of rock.

"Our countryside team is working closely with the police, coastguard and other partners to respond. Following police advice, we have closed the coast path between West Bay and Freshwater.

"The path link has been severed and we will negotiate with the landowner and others to agree a diversion as soon as we are able to.

"In the meantime, we would remind people that landslides and rock falls can, and do, happen at any time – and you can be at risk even at low tide.

"The Jurassic Coast is a wonderful place to visit, but it's important to use common sense and caution – stay away from the edge and base of cliffs and always pay attention to warning signs and safety messages."