Fortunately, no one has yet been reported missing.Caltrans had been working for months to clear the span of Highway 1 of several smaller slides, even opening it certain times of the day to allow traffic to get through. But last week, crews pulled out of the area when more mud began to trickle down from the hills above.
“We’re glad nobody was there,” Cruz said. “It could have been really catastrophic if someone was around.”
“This is a large slide preceded by smaller slides, which is not uncommon,” said Thomas Stanley, a geologist and researcher for NASA, in an email. “Much of the California coastline is prone to collapse, so it’s fortunate that this landslide happened in an unpopulated location.” In 2015, the Monterey County Environmental Resource Policy Department rated parts of the nearby coast as highly susceptible to landslides.
The latest landslide covered roughly one-third of a mile of the scenic route in 35 to 40 feet (10 to 12 meters) of rubble. The highway will remain closed for the foreseeable future, according to Caltrans.