A world famous rock formation in Malta collapsed into the sea Wednesday morning.
The Azure Window, or Tieqa tad-Dwejra as it's known to locals, was a natural limestone arch that jutted off Gozo Island.
It was featured in a number of movies and TV shows over the years, including HBO's "Game of Thrones."
Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat tweeted that the formation collapsed due to unavoidable erosion.
The site from where one could admire it-Tieqa tad-Dwejra. Heartbreaking. pic.twitter.com/S4XV6MyKRu— Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM) March 8, 2017
“There was a big raging sea beneath the window,” local resident Roger Chessell told the Times of Malta.
“Suddenly, the arch collapsed into the sea with a loud whoomph, throwing up a huge spray. By the time the spray had faded, the stack had gone too."
A 2013 geological study on the 28-metre-high arch stated that while 90 per cent of the rock's lower layers had collapsed in the past 30 years, the archway was expected to stay relatively stable for the short term.
"Now we will use this news to make sure we protect what we can – including the sea where the Azure Window now rests beneath the waves."
The Azure Window was chosen as the symbol for an upcoming European Union conference on oceans.
EU Commissioner for the Environment Karmenu Vella posted on Facebook that the archway is still an important icon.
"We have had a stark reminder today of the transience of things. Now we will use this news to make sure we protect what we can – including the sea where the Azure Window now rests beneath the waves," Vella wrote.
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