RPV Land Movement | Apr 2024 | Wayfarers Chapel to be Dismantled

Back in February, we covered the closure of the Wafarers Chapel due to the land movement in Rancho Palos Verdes. This month we went back to see what potential movement could be observed compared to our first video.

One thing that caught our attention in the video from February was a pine tree located at the opposite end of where the chapel sits. It is very distinctive, as it is nearly as tall as the chapel tower. The tree had a noticeable lean, especially when compared to the tower. Using the two videos and an angle measure, we were able to get a crude measurement of its angle over the last 90 days or so. Here are the results:

FEBRUARY 2024:

APRIL 2024:

Using the footage from February, we were able to measure an angle of 20 degrees or so when compared to the bell tower.

In April, using a similar shot from our footage, we measured a lean angle of 25 degrees, 5 degrees more than our previous measurement. It could be a good indicator, or it could be completely wrong altogether; next time we check on the area should give us more answers.

Wayferer’s Chapel: Due to be dismantled and stored.

With the constant land movement in the area, the board of the Wafarer’s Chapel have decided to dismantle what can be saved of the chapel so it can be stored while they search for a new site. According to ABC 7 News, the Board hopes to locate stable land within the same general area, with the intention of keeping Chapel near the ocean to preserve the lure of its current iconic views.

Why is land moving at Portuguese Bend?

Over the last two years, the Los Angeles area has seen nearly double the amount of rain it typically sees in a year. To make matters worse, these rain systems have drenched us; dumping large amounts of water over a short period of time.

Portugese Bend has been an active landslide area since the ’50s. Engineers discovered the problem had to do with the soil, which contained a layer of clay that became very slippery when wet. Although drainage and fill have been installed over the decades, the land has continued to move year after year and gets worse with excessive rain.

After so much rain, it was only a matter of time before problems made their way to the usual spots in the area, but have also spread to new areas unfortunately.

Here’s February’s Video for convenience:

Look for more updates as we continue to monitor the situation at Portuguese Bend.

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