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Torrey Pines beachgoers warned about 'unstable and dangerous' bluff after collapse

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Posted at 12:53 PM, Aug 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-31 15:57:48-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The California Department of Parks and Recreation is warning beachgoers to avoid a section of the popular Torrey Pines State Beach after a bluff collapsed Saturday afternoon.

The warning was posted just before noon on the CA State Parks Facebook page, along with a photo showing barricades surrounding large rocks.

There were no reports of injuries at this time.

"Do not attempt to walk around by going over barricades. Large rocks could still be falling and are potentially dangerous," the message said.

"ALWAYS walk 25ft-40ft away from all bluffs as they are unstable and dangerous."

INTERACTIVE MAP: Recent San Diego County bluff collapses

The collapse happened at south of flat rock at Torrey Pines State Beach. Access in the area could be limited due to high tides, according to CDPR.

The cliffs near Flat Rock are notorious for rock slides, according to Geologist Patt Abbott. On June 18, 2018, a 28-year-old woman was hospitalized Monday evening after a boulder fell from a cliff onto her leg.

VIDEO REPORT: Woman injured by falling boulder in Torrey Pines

Saturday's incident happened nearly a month since three people were killed when a bluff collapsed just north of Grandview Surf Beach in Encinitas. Prior to that, the last person killed by a bluff collapse locally was 57-year-old Robert Mellone, of Henderson, Nev., in Aug. 2008 at Torrey Pines State Beach.

Abbot advises beachgoers to take extra precaution when they're on the beach near any cliff side. He recommends keep several feet distance from bluffs.

"Before you go put your blanket next to the cliffs or something, you should look up there and see if you see fractures and see if any rock blocks are pulling away from the others, don’t be there... With the waves undercutting it at the base, gravity pulling it at the top, blocks fall off," said Abbot.