One of the arches of the ancient Roman aqueduct on the beach in Caesarea collapsed on Thursday night, according to the Antiquities Authority.
The aqueduct in Caesarea is built on top of arches, consisting of a canal which brought drinking water from springs in the south of the Carmel region to the city of Caesarea. The aqueduct was originally built by King Herod in around 20 BC and in 130 AD, the Roman Emperor Hadrian ordered extensive repairs and the construction of additions to the aqueduct after visiting the city.
The part of the arch which collapsed on Thursday night was part of a section that was added onto the aqueduct by Emperor Hadrian about 1,870 years ago. The arch is located on a beach which is open to swimmers.
Antiquities Authority stresses urgent need for 'catastrophic situation'
"Luckily, no bathers were killed here," said Eli Eskosido, director of the Antiquities Authority. "We have been issuing warnings, we have presented documents and plans, we have pointed out that the situation is catastrophic and that there is a real fear of collapse, we have repeatedly met with the owners of the land, we have even offered to finance some of the work with the understanding that it is simply a disaster waiting to happen. I believe that now someone will listen."
Ami Shahar, Director of the Antiquities Authority's Preservation Administration, noted that a 15 km long aqueduct leading to Acre is in an even worse state and is in danger of collapsing. "The engineering situation there is critical and mandatory Immediate treatment," said Shahar.
The Antiquities Authority called on the regional council in the area and the Caesarea Development Corporation to urgently set aside a budget to restore and stabilize the aqueduct.