Update 1 – 11am – with photos

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Taken this morning by Joseph Vella

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Taken this morning by Sammy Attard

The Azure window may have collapsed and sustained irreparable damage most probably as a direct result of last night’s thunderstorm.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat this morning tweeted that “I have just been informed that the beautiful Tieqa tad-Dwejra in #Gozo has collapsed. Updates soon. Reports commissioned over the years indicated that this landmark would be hard hit by unavoidable natural corrosion. That sad day arrived.”

Unfortunately this event has been waiting to happen for a long time. The azure window is no more now.

The Azure Window has been featured in films, such as Clash of the Titans (1981) at the 104th minute and The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) at the 13th minute. It can also be seen in the television miniseries The Odyssey (1997), and HBO’s recent TV series Game of Thrones.

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The waters around the arch were suitable for swimming, scuba diving, and boating. In recent years, the arch has gained notoriety for cliff-diving.

The arch started disintegrating because large pieces of rock have begun to fall from the underside of the arch.

Its dangerous condition has led to warning notices being placed along the cliffs to stop people walking over the top of the arch. In April 2012 a large piece of rock was dislocated and resulted in the window being made larger and more unstable, as well as a reduction in its nearly perfect oblong shape.

The 28 m (92 ft) high arch consists of yellow to pale-grey limestones comprising the remains of the marine organism globigerinid foraminifera.

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