From this article dated December 28, 2010 in the nctimes.com:
Platt said his family had no inkling that part of their backyard was gone until after last week’s storm passed and they went outside. He said the collapse made no sound and no one saw it happening. He said the Neptune Street home has been in his family for more than 30 years.
“Three or four generations have walked up and down those steps to enjoy the beaches,” Platt said. “We’ve raised babies and seen them grow up on the beach.”
John Turbeville, a MiraCosta College geologist who has made a study of shoreline erosion along the North County coastline, said the site of the recent bluff failure and areas just to the south are vulnerable to collapse if there’s much more rain in the next few days.
“It’s no surprise that you see things like this,” Turbeville said Tuesday as he eyed the collapsed bluff behind Neptune Street. “This is a common thing that happens. It’s not anything out of the ordinary.”
A surfer, Turbeville said he regularly walks the Encinitas shoreline and was taking his son surfing earlier this week when he noticed the collapsed bluff.
Typically, what happens is that rain will so saturate the bluff on a steep slope like the one behind the Neptune Street homes that the landscaping meant to keep it in place can no longer hold it —- so the soil slides down the hillside, Turbeville said.
“It’s real soft, and when you put water on it, it slumps,” Turbeville said. “The more rain we get, the more this is going to happen.”