One of the caves in the scenic Taevaskoja river dell in southern Estonia has collapsed. Naturalists are investigating the extent of the damage and whether it will be possible to restore the feature.
A wild and scenic canyon carved by the Ahja River out of Devonian sandstone, Taevaskoja (Heaven's Hall) is one of the most popular natural areas in the south of the country.
The Emaläte (Mother’s Spring) cave is one of several caves near the bottom of the cliffs. Head of the Environmental Board's Põlva-Valga-Võru regional office Ena Poltimäe told uudised.err.ee that the cave-in was probably the result of heavy rain weakening the roof of the cave, which had been penetrated by tree roots.
"Two large pine trees and smaller ones as well have fallen in. The Põlva County area was hit by very strong rainstorms in this particular area and strong winds were seen as well;" she said.
She added that geologists were planning to visit the cave on Monday and decide what action to take. Paths in the park have been cleared of blowdown, but she cautioned the public not to "poke around" in the rubble.