A large section of the historic Ventura Pier has been closed to the public after one of its supporting posts failed.
According to a report in the Ventura County Star, the piling, which anchors the 1,600-foot-long pier to the ocean floor, "apparently gave way" as a group of city employees stood on the structure Friday afternoon.
The city ordered visitors to evacuate the two-thirds of the pier closest to the ocean shortly thereafter. The portion of the pier closest to the shore, which offers access to two restaurants, remains open.
The reason for the beam's failure was unknown as of Friday night, though some reports suggested that rough surf may have played a role. Southern California is under a high surf advisory until Saturday night, with waves expected to reach seven to 10 feet along portions of the coast.
Ventura city official Lysa Urban said that on Saturday, inspectors would take a closer look at the pier, which has been repaired or rebuilt several times over its 142-year history. (Click here for the city of Ventura's official pier page.)
The outer part of the pier will remain closed until further notice.
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