The rock wall collapsed in under a minute, according to onlookers
This is the dramatic moment that a 200 feet chunk of cliff fell into Lake Superior.
At least one passenger enjoying a boat trip on the Great Lake managed to film the collapse, which happened in under a minute.
John Martin, who shot the video, told WLUC-TV on Monday: “We could hear the cliff wall popping and cracking and within 60 seconds a section of cliff approximately 200 feet wide fell before us.”
In the video, onlookers can be heard yelling to “back up” boats as the rock face crashes into the water, creating a huge wave.
The cliff range, stretching from 50 to 200ft high, lines the edge of Lake Superior in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
O National Park Service, says that “there is always a large degree of uncertainty” on what exactly triggers rockfalls.
Among the possibilities are water seeping into rock cracks, an increase of vegetation or earthquakes. Changing temperatures and extreme heat can also affect the stability of the rocks.
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where the cliffs are located, is currently experiencing drought conditions as is much of the state.
To the south, the Detroit area has experienced heavy downpours and widespread flooding in recent days leaving thousands of residents pulling possessions from murky sewage waters which backed up into homes.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said on Monday that “old infrastructure combined with climate change” were at the heart of the disaster. She said that continued flooding underlined why the state must allocate funds for storm water infrastructure upgrades.
“This is about how do we build the infrastructure that can keep us safe, that can keep our commerce and our economy going. But also recognizing we’ve got to decrease our carbon footprint at the same time,” Gov Whitmer said, de acordo com um WDET relatório.
The US Fourth National Climate Assessment found that climate impacts on the Midwest region will likely include extreme heat, much heavier rainfall and flooding. This will impact many industries in the state such as tourism, farming and fishing.