Corinth Canal temporarily closed due to rockfall

1 March 2018
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Greece has closed the Corinth canal after a rockfall that followed heavy rain, temporarily blocking a transit route used mainly by commercial ships and pleasure yachts on Monday.

The 6.4km canal serves about 11,000 ships a year, offering a short transit from southern Italy to the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea, saving mariners a 700km journey around the Peloponnese Peninsula.

But its 21.5m width means it is not a key waterway for ocean-going vessels. Local station Korinthos TV showed chunks of rock which had peeled off the canal’s steep walls and fallen into the waterway. A Greek coast guard official told Reuters on Monday that the canal’s operator will need about 15 days to restore it.

Conceptualised in ancient times, the canal started operations in 1893.

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