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Rock-fall death leads to new alert 

La Gomera has been shocked by the death of a German woman in an accident which is having repercussions for all the islands.

Authorities throughout the archipelago are once again set to debate the state of some of their beaches and rock areas after the 40-year-old mother was killed by a falling rock.

A full investigation is underway but it is being reported that she may have been camping or sitting in a cave with her two young children.

The tragedy happened on a beach area in the municipality of Vallehermoso and echoes a similar incident in Los Gigantes in 2009 when two women were killed by falling stones.

The emergency services were hampered in the La Gomera rescue by massive bolders with debris reaching five metres high in some places and occupying an area of between 75 and 100 square metres.

A call went out at about 7.45am to 1-1-2 saying there had been a landslide on the playa de La Arena in the zone of Las Vistas. The location was difficult to access and can only be reached on foot at low tide or by sea. The two children, aged one and four, were not hurt.

It is understood the area in question had been deemed too dangerous for people to visit and police regularly turned away would-be hikers, back-packers and campers. The investigation will look at whether there were any warning signs or cones.

The Los Gigantes accident led to the closure of the beach area for at least a year and a half and warnings were issued throughout the archipelago for people to be very aware of the possibility of rockfalls. Police say people should not be tempted to sleep in caves or put up tents under rocks because of the risks.

The two children were taken into care until their father arrived from Germany.