3 People Were Killed In Cliff Collapse At Beach Near San Diego
A popular beach for surfing was closed on Saturday after a cliff collapsed, killing at least three people.
According to reports from NBC News, the cliff collapsed at around 3 p.m. and ended up trapping several people on the beach in Encinitas near San Diego. A woman died at the scene, while two more died later at hospitals. Another person was taken to a hospital, and a person who had minor injuries was treated at the scene, according to statements from the city.
Because the scene was so dangerous, police actually had to stop searching for additional victims. They are now using K-9’s in the search, according to local news reports. One of the boulders that fell was said to be 7 or 8 feet by 4 feet. The cliff was on Grandview Beach, a popular surf spot among locals and vacationers.
This beach was absolutely filled with people at the time of the collapse–which isn’t surprising, because it’s the middle of the summer. A KNSD-TV helicopter captured footage of beach chairs, towels, surfboards and beach toys strewn about the sand.
Suburbs north of San Diego have contended with rising water levels in the Pacific Ocean, pressuring bluffs along the coast. Some bluffs are fortified with concrete walls to prevent multimillion-dollar homes from falling into the sea. Long stretches of beach in Encinitas are narrow strips of sand between stiff waves and towering rock walls. People lounging on beach chairs or blankets are sometimes surprised as waves roll past them and within a few feet of the walls.
Cliffside collapses are not unusual as the ocean chews away at the base of the sandstone, according to authorities. Some beach areas were even marked with signs warning of this exact danger.
Several people have been killed or injured over the years in similar bluff collapses. The San Diego Tribune reported that a resident of Encinitas died near the same area back in 2000, when a 110-yard-wide chunk of bluff fell and buried her.