Bluff collapse narrows beach at Torrey Pines, serves as warning of ever-present danger
New Year’s Eve collapse called substantial; tides may not wash away debris for a week
A substantial bluff collapse at Torrey Pines State Beach on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020 has continued to partially block parts of the beach through the weekend, a state lifeguard official said Sunday, Jan. 3.
It will take roughly a week for tides and surf to slowly remove the debris from the collapse, said the official, who asked not to be identified by name. He said the debris blocks the beach at high tide.
KUSI aired video of the collapse, which showed several beachgoers running as the bluff collapsed, sending dirt onto the sand below. One person could be heard on the video yelling, “Did you guys see that!”
People walking on the beach, especially if they have small children with them, are encouraged to stay close to the water and far from the bluffs because collapses can come at any time.
There typically is a collapse along the beach about once every 30 days, but they vary in size and frequency, the official said.
Collapses are common in La Jolla, Encinitas, Del Mar and Solana Beach. A collapse in 2019 in Encinitas killed three people.
While collapses are the result on natural erosion, they are often spurred by rainstorms that loosen soil. Heavy rains hit San Diego on Monday, Dec. 28, three days before the Torrey Pines collapse.
— David Garrick is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune
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