PACIFIC CITY, Ore. (KTVZ) — A small sinkhole measuring 20 feet wide and 15 feet deep was discovered at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area Sunday in the lower northwest corner of the dune, officials said.
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department staff were alerted to the presence of the sinkhole Sunday morning and cordoned off the area for safety.
"We ask that visitors respect this barrier and all park safety barriers. Also, please keep pets on leashes and children away from the edges," Monday's announcement said.
“The cape is a dynamic environment. Please be aware of your surroundings, stay clear of any dangerous areas, including this one,” said Park Manager Jason Elkins.
“Obviously people are curious and may want to see if for themselves,” he said, “but we ask that you respect the barriers that are in place and observe from a distance.”
Cape Kiwanda is a rarity for the Oregon Coast: a sandstone outcropping. Sandstone is naturally much weaker and prone to sudden changes compared with hardier rock like basalt. While any natural area carries risk, enjoying Cape Kiwanda safely requires visitors to pay special attention.
Even though the spot is marked with barriers, this hole could change at any moment, and others could appear. If you see something that concerns you, you're asked to leave the area and report it to Cape Lookout State Park staff at 503-842-4981. In an emergency, call 911.
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is looking into possible causes of the sink hole, and we are continuing to monitor the situation. We will share additional details as they become available.