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Following heavy rains, section of cliff collapses in Del Mar, briefly shutting down train service

Following heavy rains, section of cliff collapses in Del Mar, briefly shutting down train service
A bluff collapse between 9th and 10th streets in Del Mar on Monday morning chewed into a section of a popular, although unsanctioned, trail near the railroad tracks. (Jon Edelbrock)

A bluff collapse in Del Mar on Monday morning briefly shut down train traffic and chewed into a section of a popular, although unsanctioned, trail near the railroad tracks.

Surfers saw the slide about 8:45 a.m. and notified authorities, said Jon Edelbrock, Del Mar’s director of community services. No one was hurt.

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The site of the collapse “is in kind of a precarious area. There are definitely some fissures [in the cliffs] up there, and all this recent rainfall has really saturated those bluffs,” Edelbrock said.

Water gets into the fissures, he said, and creates instability.

The section of cliff that fell was about 20- to 30-feet long from north to south, and reached about 3- to 5-feet deep into the cliff, he said.

The slide sliced into a very popular trail — hundreds of people use it each day — along the train tracks, leaving it perhaps only a foot wide in some spots, he said.

“It’s really unstable,” Edelbrock said.

Train traffic was halted so crews could assess the rails but was cleared to restart before 11 a.m.

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