Geologist: Torrey Pines cliffs have potential of falling off

Posted at 5:59 PM, Apr 14, 2017

TORREY PINES, Calif. (KGTV) - The beach is back open in Torrey Pines, less than 24 hours after a woman was hit by falling debris from the cliffs above.

That woman had to be airlifted and taken to the hospital.

Thursday afternoon, she was walking with her friends near Flat Rock when the cliffs fell, hitting and injuring her, according to San Diego Fire-Rescue.

Video from Sky10 showed rescue crews airlifting her to the hospital. This isn't, not the first time the cliffs fall at Torrey Pines.

In 2008, a Las Vegas man died after the bluffs collapsed while he was taking off his shoes.

Geologist, Dr. Patrick Abbott said the cliffs can be dangerous. They have the potential to fall at any time.

"The number one thing you wanna look out for here on the beach or the cliffs if you wanna sit down someplace. You'd want to look and see, do you see big cracks or fractures in the rocks up above you? And then don't go near any place where there's a big crack 'cause that's gravity's already started pulling that and you don't know when it's going to finish the job," he said.

Kirsten Carlson is on Easter break. She spent her Friday baking in the sun with friends. Unknowingly, they set up camp next to a fractured cliff.

"You just assume that it's like, rock. That it's not gonna go anywhere," she said.

Torrey Pines State Reserve will remain open for Easter weekend.

They have 'Danger' signs in the area, warning people that the cliffs are unstable and to stay back. Lifeguards will also be driving up and down the area, letting people know they need to stay back.

Rangers said they do not encourage people to visit the beach when tides are high.