Pacifica apartment residents ordered to evacuate 

After today, a second building on Pacifica’s oceanfront will be emptied of people, after city officials deemed the apartments unsafe to live in because it could fall into the ocean.

On Thursday morning, Pacifica building officials issued a notice to the residents of 320 Esplanade Ave. They must be completely out of the building by tonight, said Chief Building Official Doug Rider. Neighbors at adjacent 330 Esplanade received the same notice in December, after powerful waves clawed away at the cliffs the oceanfront properties are perched on.

The cliffs have been eroding for years, and owners have hoped that rocks piled at the base of the cliff would stave off further crumbling. This year’s particularly heavy waves — supercharged by an El Niño climate system — pushed the cliff edge right up to the back patios of the apartments.

The owners of the buildings hired a contractor this winter to erect a cement wall on the cliff face, hoping to secure it well enough for residents to move back into the buildings. However, money apparently ran out and the project was not completed, Rider said. He said the owners had hoped for federal or state emergency funds to help pay for the project, but those never came.

Ravenous waves and burly rain brought by recent late-spring storms chomped farther into the cliffs, peeling off some of the cement wall and washing out the sand behind it, which required today’s evacuation.

Buildings 310, 360 and 380, along with some other apartment buildings are the next closest to the cliff, Rider said.

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