A section of the centuries-old Great Wall of China has collapsed due to a combination of heavy rainfall and construction works.
Workmen digging up a square in Zhangjiakou city, Heibei province, near the wall have been blamed for triggering the collapse of 100 ft of Great Wall.
“There is an investigation into the causes of the collapse. A number of things may have contributed, including the building work," said a city official.
City officials said that “conservation and a rebuilding plan is already underway.”
The Great Wall of China, listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1987, was initially built in seventh century BC to keep invaders out of the Chinese Empire.
More than 50 wars were fought around Zhangjiakou over the centuries and a damaged section of the wall was already once rebuilt in 1484 during the Ming Dynasty. Some other parts of the Great Wall have also gone through some restoration; the height of the wall in parts has been reduced from 16ft to less than 6ft.
As a result of the restorations through the years, the square-shaped lookout towers that form the most famous images of the wall have disappeared completely. Many western sections of the wall are constructed from mud, rather than brick and stone, and are therefore more susceptible to erosion.
The total length of the Great Wall is calculated at 5, 5000 miles, although other experts have concluded that if branches of the wall are included its entire length is around 14,000 miles.----
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