Bluff collapses prompt warnings as beachgoers crowd up to cliffs

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ENCINITAS, Calif. — A pair of minor bluff collapses over Labor Day weekend served as a reminder that unstable cliffs pose a danger to beachgoers — but many people didn’t heed the warning.

The first section of bluff collapsed Saturday at Torrey Pines State Beach. Park authorities said a large chunk of rock fell between the beach’s Lifeguard Tower 1 and Flat Rock. Officials marked the area with barricades and asked people to stay away.

The second section crumbled Sunday evening off Neptune Avenue at Leucadia State Beach in Encinitas. Authorities described the incident as a relatively minor rockslide.

No one was hurt in either weekend collapse, but officials told FOX 5 the incidents should serve as a warning to beachgoers to keep their distance. Yet when locals and tourists alike packed the beach for Labor Day the next morning, many ignored posted warnings about unstable cliffs, crowding right up to the bluffs for a coveted spot on the sand.

Three people were killed in August when a multi-ton section of sea bluff collapsed on a busy Friday at Grandview Surf Beach in Encinitas. Officials said the collapse was a result of erosion.

“Our cities beautiful beaches (are) naturally eroding,” Encinitas Lifeguard Capt. Larry Giles said in a news conference.

To keep clear of rockslides, experts advise people stay 25 to 40 feet away from the bluffs. Signs clearly mark active landslide and unstable bluff areas up and down the coast.

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