A creeping landslide has torn huge gaps in a road and dropped concrete into the sea below as it slowly destroys an oceanside bluff.
Paseo del Mar in the San Pedro area of Palos Verdes Peninsula began to buckle during the summer, and damage has dramatically worsened recently.
The scenic route is now bisected by fissures 20 feet to 30 feet deep in places.
An underground pipe that carried away storm runoff has been left jutting out into the air while segments of the concrete pipe are washed by surf below.
No nearby homes were threatened, but city officials worried that the rainy season could increase movement of the landslide.
Crews have been rerouting storm drains and power lines while erecting an 8-foot-tall fence to keep people away from the unstable area that includes beach access paths and a section of the White Point Nature Preserve. The new fence replaces a temporary fence.
"The affected area of the landslide represents an immediate and life-threatening hazard," according to a city fact sheet.
The peninsula's scenic qualities have prompted decades of homebuilding that some experts blame for further destabilizing the historically unstable ocean bluffs.
The cliffs are made chiefly of sediment and rock formations that slope seawards. The ocean also erodes the base of the cliffs, and there have been several slow-moving landslides since the 1950s that threatened several hundred homes.
A 1999 collapse destroyed 16 acres of a golf course.
Information from: Daily Breeze, http://www.dailybreeze.com