A photographer captured the moment a huge section of a cliff collapsed and crashed onto a beach below.
Filmmaker and photographer Kent Ameneyro recorded the incident that took place at Black’s Beach in La Jolla, San Diego in California at 13:29 on Friday.
In the footage, a 250 feet wide and 25 feet high section of a cliff collapses on the shore — a few hundred yards south of historic aviation site, Torrey Pines Glider Port.
Ameneyro films as massive pieces of rock and cliffside break off and tumble down the cliffside and onto the beach below.
Estimates say the volume of the collapse is around 150,000 cubic yards.
Further footage, uploaded by YouTuber Mark Hardy, shows the breakage crashing onto the beach with a loud sound.
Local law enforcement was called in regarding a 10-minute landslide involving major portions of the cliff at the small beachside town of La Jolla around 14:45.
— SDFD (@SDFD) January 20, 2023
The cliff collapse forced officials to close several trails in the area.
According to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, no one was injured in the incident. As the cliff broke off relatively slowly, beachgoers had time to get out of the way during the collapse.
According to a geology professor who spoke with NBC7, the collapse is the most notable and significant cliff failure in over 40 years.
“This is the biggest landslide we’ve seen around here in many years but it’s actually a piece of an old one that didn’t finish sliding,” Dr. Pat Abbott, Professor of Geology Emeritus at San Diego State University tells NBC 7.
“Five times since 1995, we’ve had sea cliff failures in San Diego County that have killed one to five people each time.”
Collapses are not extremely common and it is unclear what caused the one in La Jolla. However, certain weather and climate conditions could have been contributing factors.
“High sea cliffs, waves eating at the base, gravity pulling on it constantly, less sand on the beach in the winter, higher tides, all those things increase the probability of cliff failure,” Abbott says.
Abbott also says rain could have been a contributing factor.
“You saturate those rocks with water, that makes them weaker and makes them heavier, which allows gravity to pull with more effective force during these times,” he explains.
Image credits: Featured photo sourced via YouTube/ Kent Ameneyrio.