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Bluff collapse narrows beach at Torrey Pines, serves as warning of ever-present danger

This photo was taken in August 2019 after a bluff collapse at Torrey Pines State Beach. Another collapse occurred last week.
This photo was taken in August 2019 after a bluff collapse at Torrey Pines State Beach. Another collapse occurred last week.
(File)

A substantial bluff collapse at Torrey Pines State Beach on New Year’s Eve partially blocked parts of the beach through the weekend.

It will take roughly a week for tides and surf to slowly remove the debris from the collapse, a state lifeguard official said Jan. 3. He said the debris blocks the beach at high tide.

KUSI-TV aired video of the collapse, which showed several beach-goers running as the bluff collapsed, sending dirt onto the sand below.

Lifeguards encourage people walking on the beach, especially if they have small children with them, 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.

Though collapses are the result of natural erosion, they often are spurred by rainstorms that loosen soil. Heavy rains hit San Diego on Dec. 28, three days before the Torrey Pines collapse. ◆