Landslide buries California scenic highway near Big Sur

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MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. — Dirt and stones are blocking the sweeping views of a coastal scenic highway in California.

A portion of the Pacific Coast Highway, considered by some as one of the most scenic drives in the U.S., was buried by a massive landslide, the California Department of Transportation said.

On Saturday, more than 1 million tons of rock and dirt fell down the slope and into the ocean about 25 miles north of San Simeon, south of Big Sur.

The landslide extends about a quarter-mile and has the road covered in a 35- to 40-foot deep layer of dirt. The highway runs through Big Sur, which is a major tourist attraction.

Authorities have closed all access to the highway and they don’t know when it will be reopened.

“No words needed but here’s a few: Million tons of rock/dirt, about 1/3 mile of roadway covered 35-40 feet deep. Mother Nature hard at work,” a spokesman for the transportation department wrote on Twitter.

“The slide went from bad to worse over the weekend,” a Monterey County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said.

There were no injuries or damage reported, officials said.

The highway had been closed for some time because crews were working to remove debris from an earlier landslide.

Before Saturday’s landslide, repairs were suspended and heavy equipment was ordered to be removed from the road after officials learned of a possible landslide.

The area, which relies heavily on tourism as it’s frequented by ocean scenery enthusiasts, has been hit by several landslides since January that caused temporary road closures.