Section of bluff near train tracks collapses in Del Mar

A bluff collapse in Del Mar on the morning of Dec. 10 briefly shut down train traffic and chewed into a section of a popular but unsanctioned trail near the railroad tracks.

Surfers saw the collapse about 8:45 a.m. and notified authorities, said Jon Edelbrock, Del Mar’s director of community services. No one was hurt.

He said the site is in a somewhat “precarious” area.

“There are definitely some fissures (in the cliffs) up there, and all this recent rainfall has really saturated those bluffs,” Edelbrock said, referring to a storm that began Dec. 6 and soaked much of San Diego County.

Water gets into the fissures, he said, and creates instability.

The section of cliff that fell was about 20- to 30-feet long from north to south, and reached about 3- to 5-feet deep into the cliff, he said.

The collapse area narrowed a popular trail — hundreds of people use it each day — along the train tracks, leaving it only a foot wide in some spots, he said.

“It’s really unstable, and not a wise decision to use that trail,” Edelbrock said. “It’s not hyperbole… It’s a fact.”

Train traffic was halted so crews could assess the rails, but was cleared to restart before 11 a.m.

--Teri Figueroa is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune

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