World News

A Series of Rockfalls Have Occurred at El Capitan in Yosemite National Park

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East of San Francisco in Yosemite National Park, seven instances of rockfall have occurred over two days at El Capitan. One chunk was thought to be the size of an apartment building. “The irregular ‘sheet’ of rock that fell is estimated to be 130 feet tall, 65 feet wide, and 3-10 feet thick. The source point is about 650 feet above the base of El Capitan, or about 1,800 feet above the floor of Yosemite Valley (which is at 4,000 feet in elevation),” NPS writes.

NBC News writes that this is climbing season in Yosemite, and tragically, the rockfall on Wednesday lead to the death of a 32-year-old man from Wales, Andrew Foster. His wife is currently in the hospital due to injuries from the event. They were not climbing at the time of the rockfall, and all other visitors in the area were accounted for by the Yosemite National Park Rangers and the Search and Rescue team.

Another man was injured around the El Capitan area on Thursday. NBC News says that the rockfall was thought to be even bigger than the one on Wednesday. Rockfalls are not unusual in Yosemite, but death and injury from the natural event is. NPS says that it’s been 18 years since someone has died due to a rockfall in the park.