A 10-foot wide sinkhole has appeared at Cape Kiwanda on the north Oregon coast.
The sinkhole was discovered Monday about 10 inches away from another hole that appeared in January. Park staff became aware of it after someone posted a photo to social media that night. The sinkhole wasn’t there when park staff walked through the area Monday morning.
The second sinkhole is about 30 feet deep. The first sinkhole measures about 25 feet across and 15 feet deep.
State parks officials are asking people to be cautious and stay away from fenced-off areas. All dogs should remain on leashes the park, and children should be kept away from cliff edges.
The Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area is a sandstone outcropping, which is naturally weaker than other types of rock and prone to sudden changes.
“We are monitoring the site daily, but it’s a dynamic environment,” park ranger supervisor Travis Korbe said in a press release. “The soft sandstone cliffs can give way without warning, which is why it’s important to respect safety fences everywhere in the park.”
Several people have died in recent years after falling from the park’s cliffs, as reported by the Salem Statesman Journal.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is working with a geologist to determine the best location for a permanent safety fence to keep visitors away from the two sinkholes. Department officials said soil appears to be falling into large, unstable voids beneath the cliff caused by strong ocean waves.
Although the sinkholes are marked with barriers, new sinkholes could appear. Officials are asking visitors to contact the Cape Lookout State Park at (503) 842-4981 if they discover new sinkhole locations.