Hundreds of people were evacuated from Yosemite National Park’s Curry Village Wednesday (Oct. 8) after a huge rock smashed into the camping area, according to authorities.
Two wooden cabins and five tent cabins were wiped out and trees were snapped but only three people suffered minor injuries, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The incident prompted Yosemite officials to order the evacuation of 1,005 people.
“It sounded enormous, like the earthquakes I’ve been in in Los Angeles,” Tom Voelpel of Valencia told the Chronicle. “You could hear trees snapping and rocks crunching and cracking against each other.”
Voelpel was at the park celebrating his 50th birthday with his twin brother Dave. They survived by jumping behind a cabin wall just as a boulder smashed through it.
The 7 a.m. rock slide deposited about 1,800 cubic yards of debris — enough to fill about 200 dump trucks — into the area populated by campers, park spokeswoman Adrienne Freeman said.
Deanne Maschmeyer, 41, of Seaside, said she was sleeping next to her 14-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son when it happened.
“We literally bolted out of bed and started running,” Maschmeyer said. “It was like the tsunami footage several years ago. We hurdled garden fences and sprinted through the meadow. It was a pure adrenalin rush. We were surrounded by kids crying and yelling.”