SAN FRANCISCO—Effects of El Nino have threatened the homes on the coastal bluffs near San Francisco. City officials have declared the area to be in a state of emergency due to the coastal erosion, and are in the process of seeking federal assistance.
Pacifica has faced erosion hazards for many decades. In 1998, El Nino’s series of storms caused the Pacifica bluffs to erode, which led a set of residences to tumble into the ocean. Two sets of apartment buildings in Pacifica, California were evacuated on Monday, January 25. A drone was able to capture video footage of a cliff breaking off and falling into the ocean with beach-side homes, just steps away from the cliff-side.
All residents of the affected Esplancade residence reported having notices posted on their doors by the City of Pacifica stating: “The erosion of the bluff has started to undermine this building, which will result in structural failure and an unsafe condition for occupants.” According to residents’ notice, building access is now restricted to tenants unless they are entering to remove personal property.
Pacifica safety crews have been moving stones and boulders toward the bottom of the cliff to prevent faster erosion from ocean waves reaching the base of the cliff. Pacifica city officials are relying heavily on the prospect of state and federal funding to aid their efforts to find a more effective solution. As of January 29, the city has not announced who will be funding the demolition of the Esplanade complexes.
According to authorities, two other Bay Area homes have been sliding down the hillside; one being the multi-million dollar three-story house of a family in San Francisco, and another being a home in the East Bay. Reports say over the past few days, the house has slid 14 inches on the hillside. In Oakland Hills another home has been tagged for evacuation.