A road in Los Angeles County, California, buckled and rose from the ground this week–but there was no earthquake.
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) November 25, 2015
— 23ABC News (@23ABCNews) November 20, 2015
The deformation Vasquez Canyon Road in Santa Clarita took only a couple of hours, reported CBS Los Angeles, citing local officials. There were reports that it was caused by a landslide, but officials appeared to dispute that as a cause.
A group of UCLA geology students and a geology professor are confused as to why it happened.
“There was no big rainstorm that triggered this. There was no big earthquake that triggered this,” UCLA professor Jeremy Boyce said.
— Zohreen (@Zohreen) November 20, 2015
— LA Co Public Works (@LAPublicWorks) November 20, 2015
Drivers started calling the California Highway Patrol about the road rising up. The road kept on rising into a 200-foot-stretch, and it has grown by more than 15 feet in only three days, CBS reported.
Please RT: Crews fenced off Vasquez Canyon Rd landslide area. Mountain is still sliding & is unsafe. Stay away! pic.twitter.com/KnyC2Qqle1
— LA Co Public Works (@LAPublicWorks) November 25, 2015
“When we think about geology, we think about processes that happen over millions and billions of years, so the opportunity to bring students out and see something happening over a scale of hours gives them the idea that not only does geology take forever, it can also happen almost instantaneously,” Professor Boyce told CBS.
“It’s a completely different experience hearing about it in a class and then coming here and seeing it in real life, kind of watching it come to life,” UCLA student Sarah Casey noted.
“We can build all these buildings, but the earth does what it does, so it kind of puts into perspective our place in the world,” UCLA student Brittany Miles said.
Los Angeles County Public Works Department officials told SignalSCV.com that they’re worried the road will become a tourist trap.
“It’s not a recreation center — it’s an unsafe place,” Public Works spokesman Steven Frasher said this week. “We get that it looks cool, but it’s a very dangerous area to be on.”
— Dave Petley (@davepetley) November 22, 2015
The CHP shut it down, as it became unsafe to drive.
“It’s still actively moving out there,” Frasher added. “Until the geology of the site has settled, there’s nothing that we really could do.”