Landslide buries California’s scenic highway near Big Sur

The California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) took these photographs of a massive mudslide that covered this section of State Route 1 Saturday night. CALTRANS estimates that over a million tons of rock and dirt fell down the slope, extending over 1,500 feet of road and continuing down to the ocean floor below. Authorities do not have an estimate when the section of road will re-open.

(CNN) — The sweeping views of a coastal scenic highway in California are gone.

A portion of the Pacific Coast Highway, considered by some as one of the most scenic drives in the U.S., was buried in dirt and stones by a massive landslide, the California Department of Transportation said.

On Saturday, more than a million tons of rock and dirt fell down the slope and onto the ocean about 8 miles north of San Luis Obispo.

The landslide along California’s State Route 1 extends about a quarter mile and has the road covered in a 35-40 feet deep layer of dirt. The highway runs through Big Sur, which is 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 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.

There were no injuries or damage 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 to be removed from the road after officials learned of a possible landslide.

The area, which relies heavily on tourism as it’s frequented by ocean scenery enthusiasts, has been hit by several landslides since January that caused temporary road closures.