Rock and dirt from a cliff continue to tumble onto the Pacific Coast Highway in this fashionable seaside community of 20,000 persons as state officials prepare for the "imminent" collapse of the entire cliff.
Inhabitants of four homes and an apartment building in this area were evacuated late Wednesday night and pedestrians have been warned to stay away from the rockslide site, according to Dick Robision, executive assistant for the state transportation agency which is called Caltrans.
It's not good. We know from the patterns, the mountain's ready to unburden itself of a lot more rock," Robison said. "We just don't know."
Traffic near the crumbling cliff has been detoured since April 14, forcing many local residents-including movie and record industry executives-to add an hour to their commutes or to walk several hundred feet to their cars on the other side of the blocked off area. If the mountain were to go, a portion of the main coast highway would go with it.
The siege has caused increasingly bitter feelings between Caltrans officials and Malibu residents, many of whom the state officals view as rich and spoiled people used to getting their way and unable to cope with what is simply a natural phenomenon.
"They've been just lashing out at me," complained Caltran's Robison. "They say they need to get their kids to school, they need to do this or that. They yell at us for not doing a thousand things. Hell, it's not our mountain."
But for some Malibu residents, the incoveniences so far have been relatively minor. Many are wealthy, selfemployed and have several cars, meaning they can keep a car on each side of the rockslide area.
Henry Robinson, a furniture magnate, for instance, keeps his Rolls Royce on the north side of the slide, at his beach front home, while his Mercedes awaits him on the south side. His only problem is the short walk from one side of the slide site to the other.
"This proves that no matter how wealthy someone is, they can't buy their way out of inconvenience," Robinson said.
Some local residents, however, seem to be enjoying the peace and quiet afforded this normally crowded beach area by the slide.
Wjo e they complain about the morming traffic on the routes out of Malibu, some residents say the rock slide has kept many tourists away from the area.
"There's sure been a lot less traffic," said Mike Ham, who lives two-thirds of a mile from the slide site.
"this is getting to be a real party atmosphere. You get to meet new people, like your neighbors," Ham said.* CAPTION: Picture, Boulders falling on Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu disrupted traffic a week ago, now imperil road. AP