Page last updated at 20:12 GMT, Friday, 21 August 2009 21:12 UK

Deadly rockfall on Portugal beach


The rescue operation on the beach where the rockfall happened

At least five people have died and several others have been injured in a landslide at a beach in the Algarve, southern Portugal, officials say.

A 60-year-old man and four women - two under the age of 25 - were killed when part of a cliff collapsed on the popular Maria Luisa beach in Albufeira.

Rescuers are continuing to search for further victims who were caught in the landslide at midday on Friday.

The names and nationalities of those killed have not yet been released.

Diggers were deployed at the site as part of a rescue operation.


A witness quoted by Portugal's Lusa news agency said that "part of the cliff came down around noon and rocks crashed onto the beach up to the sea causing much panic".

A 38-year-old woman - one of the injured people - was in a critical condition, Portuguese emergency services said.

Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva visited the beach, which is popular with local and foreign tourists.

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