Two people were killed in a rockslide earlier this week in Yosemite National Park, according to the local county sheriff’s office.
On Tuesday, Yosemite National Park Announced that El Portal Road, a continuation of Highway 140 into Yosemite Valley from El Portal, has been closed due to a “significant rockfall.” the entrance was reopened about 6 hours later.
The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to NBC News, but according to the Associated Press, local authorities identified the victims as Georgios Theocharous, 51, and Ming Yan, 35. Both are a married couple from San Joseph.
On Friday night, the park Announced another closure on Big Oak Flat Road, east of Foresta, due to another rockfall incident.
In the early morning of December 12, Big Oak Flat Road was also closed after being struck by a rockslide, blocking access to Yosemite Valley via Highway 120 from the west. The rockfall resulted in a multi-day closure to clear and repair the road.
As of Saturday morning, Big Oak Flat Road remains closed. The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office has not yet responded to any reports of deaths or injuries from Friday’s rockslide.
According to the Yosemite National ParkThough uncommon, Yosemite Valley can experience numerous rockfalls each year. In 2021, the park recorded 47 rockfalls in the valley.
According to the US National Park Service, Yosemite National Park welcomed 3.3 million visitors in 2021, making it one of the 25 most-visited national parks in the country.