The bluff gave way around 3 p.m. in Encinitas, a suburban area north of San Diego. A 30-foot-by-25-foot section of the bluff located about 15 feet above the beach gave way, dumping rock and sand onto the people below. The collapse was believed to have sent 15 to 20 cubic yards of material onto the beach, the fire chief . The collapse trapped victims in an earthen pile which measured about 10 feet tall at its highest point. “This is a naturally eroding coastline,” Encinitas Lifeguard Capt. Larry Giles said.The area is highly popular with local residents, surfers and vacationers. The beach was filled with people at the time of the collapse.
Emergency personnel pulled five people out of the rubble. Officials said the cliff was unstable. They cordoned the area in order to keep people out. Bluffs give way four to eight times a year in Southern California, but “nothing of this magnitude.” More than a dozen bluff collapses occurred along North San Diego County’s coastline, primary in the Del Mar area, since 2016.The suburbs north of San Diego have contended with rising water levels in the Pacific Ocean, pressuring bluffs along the coast.