A massive landslide has cut off access to one of the most scenic places in the US. California Highway 1 is blocked by 2 million cubic meters of earth more than 0.25 miles (400m) wide near Big Sur, California, turning the short-term closures caused by prior slides into a long-term blockage. The area is home to $1,000-a-night luxury resorts and more spartan campgrounds that attract masses of spa-dwellers and mountain-hikers alike due to it’s unique location and natural beauty.
As you can see in the images above, the coastline has been radically changed. The US Geological Survey estimates Big Sur gained 13 acres of land area due to the slide.
The redwood-tree dense area is wedged between mountains and the ocean, atop stunning cliffs. Landslides are common. California’s wet winter has resulted in numerous closures along the route to allow for debris to be cleared from the road. However, this slide is different. A spokeswoman for the California Department of Transportation estimated to the Associated Press that it was the largest ever in California. The extensive work needed to repair the road may keep it closed for over a year.
Combined with a bridge repair farther north, the area’s outside road access is completely cut off to through traffic. Restaurants are empty and at least one resort has been attempting to fly guests in by helicopter.