Marine Drive East and the parallel cliff top at Barton-on-Sea have been closed following the sudden appearance of a thousand foot long crack.
A suggestion that the crack appeared at about the same time as Kent was experiencing an earthquake on Saturday is being taken seriously by the Marine and Coastguard Agency. A spokesperson said: “It was too coincidental too ignore.”
A row of beach huts below the cliff has been evacuated but residents in Marine Drive East are remaining at home.
There has been dramatic cliff erosion over many years at Barton. Cliff Edge CafÃ© to the west was closed in 1990 and demolished.
The new danger area is between the Beachcomber CafÃ© and the start of the slope down to Becton Bunny.
There is now concern that heavy rain may cause a landslip. Rainwater, soaking quickly through the top layer of sand, can become caught in clay below creating a soggy substance which is liable to slip.
The temporary west-east diversion for the coast path is expected to be along the north side of Marine Drive East or on Grove Road behind with a return to the cliff at Becton Lane.