California’s iconic Pacific Coast Highway has been hit with “unprecedented” damage after a huge landslide buried part of the road in Big Sur in an estimated 1 million tons of rock and dirt. Authorities said Tuesday that the landslide in Mud Creek was so severe it changed the coastline below scenic Highway 1, burying a chunk of the highway under 40 feet of rock and dirt. “‘Unprecedented’ would be a good word to use,” Jim Shivers, a spokesman for District 5 of the California Department of Transportation, told the Los Angeles Times. Another spokesperson warned the landslide might not be over yet.
“We haven’t been able to go up there and assess. It’s still moving,” Susana Cruz was cited as saying by the Associated Press. It was the largest mudslide she’s aware of in California history, she said. The landslide adds to damage from several smaller mudslides caused by one of the Golden State’s wettest winters, with an estimated $1 billion in damage to 400 sites along the highway. Repair work was already under way when the latest landslide hit over the weekend. The damage is expected to put a dent in local tourism, with businesses in the tourist hot spot bracing for a drop in visitors. Read more.