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Landslide buries Calif. scenic highway

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Tons of dirt and stones are blocking the coastal scenic highway in California’s Big Sur region.

A portion of the Pacific Coast Highway, considered by some to be one of the most scenic drives in the US, was buried by a massive landslide, the California Department of Transportation said.

On Saturday, more than 1 million tons of rock and dirt fell down the slope and into the ocean about 65 miles northwest of San Luis Obispo.

The landslide along California’s State Route 1 extends more than a quarter mile and left the road covered in a 35-40 feet deep layer of dirt. The highway is the main artery running through Big Sur, a remote, picturesque stretch of coast whose beauty makes it a major tourist attraction.

Authorities have closed all access to the highway and they don’t know when it will be reopened.

“No words needed but here’s a few: million tons of rock/dirt, about 1/3 mile of roadway covered 35-40 feet deep. Mother Nature hard at work,” a spokesperson for the state transportation department wrote on Twitter.

“The slide went from bad to worse over the weekend,” a Monterey County sheriff’s office spokesperson said on Facebook.

No injuries or damage were reported, officials said.

The highway had been closed for some time because crews were working to remove debris from an earlier landslide.

Before Saturday’s landslide, repairs were suspended and heavy equipment was ordered removed from the road after officials were alerted to the possibility of another landslide.

The area, which relies heavily on tourism, has been hit by several landslides since January that have caused temporary road closures.