By Alastair Jamieson, Staff writer, NBC News
A 300-yard section of scenic highway near the U.S. border collapsed Saturday, sinking up to 300 feet and forcing the closure of the route, according to reports.
Mexico’s federal highway authority says the collapse occurred about 58 miles south of the border city of Tijuana, according to The Associated Press. The road leads to the port city of Ensenada, on the Baja California peninsula.
The agency said it came after several earlier small earthquakes, ranging in magnitude from 1.3 to 4.3, combined with recent heavy rainfall, the AP reported.
The road had already seen evidence of fractures and sinking in recent days, according to a San Diego Union-Tribune report which said the small fractures suddenly turned into enormous cracks on the cliffside in the early hours of Saturday, plunging the highway deeper and toward the sea, with some parts caving almost 300 feet.
Afn / Handout / EPA
View of the collapsed section of the Ensenada-Tijuana highway in the Mexican state of Baja California, Saturday.
The Union-Tribune said the incident happened at the Salsipuedes stretch of highway toward Ensenada overlooking steep bluffs, only about 10 miles north of Ensenada and the San Miguel toll booth, and 56 miles south of the border.
Travelers are being diverted along an older, toll-free road further inland.
There were no victims reported and the highway will likely be closed for the next few weeks, authorities said.
Ensenada is home to the third busiest cruise ship terminal in Mexico and gateway to the rest of Baja by the sea, the Union-Tribune said.
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