People flee as cliffside parking lot crashes into ocean in California, video shows

A landslide cut a slab from Northern California’s coastline like it was a slice of cake — and the sea below swallowed a coastal trail and part of a cliffside parking lot, dramatic drone images show.

The drone footage also showed onlookers fleeing as the cliffside crumbled and tumbled down into the ocean below.

Public officials had previously closed off the Fleener Creek Trailhead and parking lot in Humboldt County due to the ongoing landslides from winter storms, the Bureau of Land Management said in a Jan. 18 news release.

“Fleener Creek parking lot gave away to mother nature last night and a good portion of it is now in the ocean. It is unsafe to use the parking lot at this time or to even walk in it,” Humboldt County 1st District Supervisor Rex Bohn said on Facebook on Saturday, Feb. 24. “This is not an invitation to go look. It is a dangerous situation.”

Family drone-operating team Double B UAV captured before-and-after photos of the landslide and shared the images across the company’s social media accounts.

“The family took a quick field trip out to Fleener Creek lookout this afternoon, we managed to grab some great shots that put into perspective why the parking lot is closed,” Brandon Rice said in a Feb. 23 Facebook post. “Don’t think it will hang on much longer!”

The team flew drones over the location again the next day and captured images and footage showing how much of the cliff was still sliding into the ocean.

“What a difference a day can make!” they said in the post’s caption. “First two photos were yesterday the rest were taken this am.”

Drone footage posted to their YouTube account on Feb. 25 shows two people racing across the parking lot away from the landslide as the cliff crumbles only a few feet from where they stood.

“29 (second) mark … that is a risky walk!” someone wrote in the comments.

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