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‘Stay …away from the cliff’ – council warning after shock death

People are being urged to stay away from cliff faces at Rothesay Bay on Auckland’s North Shore, particularly at high tide, after a woman was fatally struck by rocks at the weekend.

Inna Viktorovna Rudyy, 44, died after being struck by falling rocks while walking her dogs on the beach on Saturday.

The incident has raised concern about the safety of the cliff area and Auckland Council has asked for geotechnical reports on the stability of the area.

“In the meantime, the most important thing is the public are aware of the potential risk when they are walking along the coastline in that particular area,” council chief operating officer Patricia Reade told Radio New Zealand.

“What we’re saying to the public is that people on those beaches who are walking on those rocks should stay at least 10m away from the cliff, and avoid going onto the beach below the cliff face at or just before high tide, which of course pushes them closer to directly beneath the cliff face.”

Ms Reade said engineers had told her the movement on the cliff face was typical of what happens along the whole eastern coast of the North Shore.

“The cliff face is made up of soft sandstone and just is part of the natural erosion. Sometimes rocks come away,” she said.

“They’re not saying at this point that they think this is particularly out of the ordinary but that is why we have asked for a geotechnical assessment of the area. I should be getting a report by the end of today which will both assess the stability of that particular slope and make recommendations to us.”

Ms Reade said members of the public who see any further falls, or unusual occurrences on the cliff faces, should contact the council.

She said it was unclear if there was any connection between an earthquake measuring 2.9 on the Richter scale on Friday and the rockfall.

Ms Rudyy’s husband Stephen Collie said he went looking for his wife when their dog Saska returned alone on Saturday.

They found emergency services at the scene and knew it was his wife after dialling her mobile phone and hearing it ring in a detective’s hand, the New Zealand Herald reported.

He said something needed to be done to make the cliffs safer.

“There’s a problem there … I’m not blaming anyone or pointing the finger at anyone, but I don’t want this happening to anyone else.”



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