Thursday, January 28, 2016

California Storms About To Sent Apartments, Houses Plunging Into The Pacific Ocean

Apartment buildings teetering on the edge of eroding
cliffs this week in Pacifica, California.
Photo y Leah Millis, San Francisco Chronicle.
A series of winter storms coming off the Pacific Ocean is about to sent some Califrnia apartment buildings and houses plunging off eroding cliffs into the sea, it appears.

The trouble is happening in and around the coastal community of Pacifica, where delicate sand and sandstone cliffs are rapidly eroding as the series of storms brings pounding waves to the coastline.

You'll see a video at the bottom of this post the cliffs eroding before your eyes, and you'll see just how doomed the buildings are.

This erosion has been a problem for years around Pacifica, which is just a little south of San Francisco, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. 

Some of the apartments were condemned some time ago because of the encroaching erosion. Two buildings at one apartment complex were evacuated in 2010. Now, this week, more residents are being forced out by the increasing danger.

While most have left, others vow to stay. Which is risky in terms of buildings falling into the water. And more immediately risky because police might arrest people who stay out of concern for their safety.

The California drought of the past four years had at least one bright spot in Pacifica: The lack of winter storms from 2011 to 2015 meant the erosion slowed dramatically.

It even gave a chance for regional officials to try to save some of the buildings by piling huge rocks at the base of the cliffs and re-enforcing them with concrete.

But you can't stop the power of the oceans.
Another view of the endangered buildings in Pacifica, California
Photo by Leah Millis, San Francisco Chronicle. 

This year,  a series of winter storms, fueled in part by El Nino, have been repeatedly slamming into mostly central and northern California.

The storms have made the cliffs erode rapidly again. The city declared a state of emergency in the past few days after a series of cliff collapses over the weekend.

The last couple of times there was a strong El Nino, like the one we're having this year, the worst storms to hit the California coast came in February and March, so you can see how this is going to be a long couple of months in Pacifica.

Here's that striking video of the erosion in Pacifica with the cliffs collapsing, taken via drone on Saturday:

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