Landslide Buries Part of California's Famed Highway 1
A massive landslide has swallowed up a one-quarter mile stretch of California's iconic Highway 1 and likely permanently altered the Big Sur coastline.
According to the Associated Press, the slide sent more than one million tons of rock and dirt falling down the hillside, burying the road in as much as 40 feet of debris.
California Department of Transportation spokeswoman Susana Cruz said the landslide occurred on Saturday night in an area known as Mud Creek.
Fortunately, the stretch of highway that was impacted was already closed for repairs stemming from an earlier landslide and work crews had been pulled out because of unstable soil.
BIG SUR, CA - Video shows stretch of iconic California highway buried after a massive landslide https://t.co/yZzJOAeTSb pic.twitter.com/OWHmN5yB2O
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) May 24, 2017
No damage has been reported, but officials have been limited in their investigation.
"We haven't been able to go up there and assess. It's still moving," Cruz told the AP. "We have geologists and engineers who are going to check it out this week to see how do we pick up the pieces."
This is best before/after photo pair I've spotted for the Big Sur landslide. Despite size & water, looks like no fluidization or long runout pic.twitter.com/sHunJshs7A
— Mika McKinnon (@mikamckinnon) May 24, 2017
Big Sur landslide pic - shared by some friends at USGS. #landslide pic.twitter.com/tnWCPv7xhZ
— Claire Masteller (@ccmasteller) May 24, 2017
CNN reported that authorities have closed all access to that stretch of highway and have no timetable on when it will reopen.
Situated south of Monterey in between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the rugged stretch through Big Sur is immensely popular among tourists. The seaside views are unrivaled, and there are plenty of opportunities for camping, hiking and exploring beaches.
Even prior to Saturday's incident, the region had been hit hard by one of the rainiest winters in California history. The AP reported several resorts were forced to shut down or bringing guests in via helicopter in wake of multiple road closures resulting from landslides.