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Landslide in Greece’s Corinth Canal: Grounds Cargo Ship (VIDEO)

FILE PHOTO: In October, 2019 Cruise passengers held their breath as a 22.5 meter wide cruise liner became the largest boat to pass through Greece's narrow Corinth Canal, according to its operator. PHOTO: Fred Olsen Cruises

PortandTerminal.com, November 14, 2020

ATHENS, GREECE – Landslides are never good news — especially not when they happen in a canal as narrow and high as the Cornith Canal in Greece.

A landslide was reported on Friday morning (November 13) at the Corinth Canal that cuts through the Corinth Isthmus, on the slope on the side of the Peloponnese. Maritime Bulletin is reporting that the reduced depth of the canal as a result of the landslide caused the grounding of general cargo ship NEMESIS. The accident took place right below the bridge you see in the main photo above, so a bystander was able to take the following video.

According to the Corinth Canal company “the landslide was the result of unexpected geological conditions” and the “work to restore depth started immediately and will continue on a 24-hour basis until approximately 700 cubic metres of earth are removed.” The company said that the earthworks are expected to conclude on Saturday afternoon, at which time the Canal will resume normal operation.

The Cornith Canal

Painting: The Inauguration of the Corinth Canal (1893) by Konstantinos Volanakis.
Painting: The Inauguration of the Corinth Canal (1893) by Konstantinos Volanakis.

The Corinth Canal connects the Gulf of Corinth in the Ionian Sea with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea in Greece. The canal was dug through the isthmus at sea level and has no locks. It is 6.4 kilometres (4 mi) in length and only 21.4 metres (70 ft) wide at its base, making it impassable for many modern ships.

It was completed in 1893, but, due to the canal’s narrowness, navigational problems, and periodic closures to repair landslides from its steep walls, it failed to attract the level of traffic expected by its operators. Today, it is more of a tourist attraction than an artery for major cargo movements.

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