A rockfall occurred in the coastal Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles County, and now, officials are worried that more landslides may follow.
Thankfully, no injuries were reported after the incident, the city said in a statement.
The landslide occurred at 10 a.m. local time. It forced a local beach to close, and now that a plume of moisture streaming in from the Pacific Ocean is expected to bring heavy rain up and down the West Coast over the weekend, officials are worried more landslides could occur.
Geologist Pat Abbott told CNN affiliate KCBS-TV warned about the potential for more catastrophic damage.
“Sea levels are rising, gravity is pulling, and now when you talk about heavy rains coming in this week, might that be a danger? Oh definitely. That’s going to add to the problem,” Abbott said.
Abbott told the station a big landslide is normally followed by “a lot more landslides.” His advice to locals was clear and simple: “Back off.”
KCBS-TV footage showed a chunk of the hillside folding and collapsing. Then, a massive dust cloud shot up as debris moved a pickup truck. The pickup was unoccupied, according to local officials. Also, at least one home was evacuated at the time.
City officials and geologists then started reviewing “soil, rock, and groundwater conditions to evaluate the safety of the area and nearby structures.”
Most coastal communities will pick up 1 to 3 inches of rain through the weekend. Moreover, some areas of northern and central California could receive 3 to 5 inches of rain in total. Moreover, coastal erosion and flooded roadways are a major concern for the area.
Officials Currently Evaluating Soil in Effort to Prevent Future Rockfalls
Geology and climate comprise the two main causes for rockfalls. Some of these factors include the condition of the rock mass and discontinuities within the rock mass, while its vulnerability to weather and ground and surface water also factor in. Additionally, external stresses like root-wedging can cause rockfalls.
Palos Verdes Estates is an incredibly wealthy town located in Los Angeles County along the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The city was master-planned by renowned architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. The city rests alongside the California coastline of the Pacific.
The population was 13,347 at the 2020 census, which marked a slight decrease from its 2010 population. That census, the town recorded a population of 13,438.
Palos Verdes Estates ranks as one of the wealthiest cities in the United States. The 90274 ZIP code covers the cities of Palos Verdes Estates and Rolling Hills. It was ranked the 47th most expensive housing area among U.S. ZIP codes in 2007. Forbes.com ranked the ZIP codes according to property value. Palos Verdes is also known for its high-performing schools. Its high school has been regularly ranked among the top 50 nationally by numerous outlets.