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Several Moderately Small Rockfalls Occur in Yosemite National Park

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Date: August 26, 2009

Several moderately small rockfalls have occurred in Yosemite Valley from early this morning through early this afternoon.  The rockfalls released from the Royal Arches area directly above the Ahwahnee Hotel.  The largest rock that fell is estimated to be 350 cubic meters.

There were no injuries and minor damage to property was reported in the rockfall events.  Three vehicles sustained minor to moderate damage due to fly rock.  No rockfall debris reached the Ahwahnee Hotel.  The hotel is at full occupancy and there were approximately 60-70 guests in the hotel at midday today.  As a precaution, the guests were asked to leave the hotel and gather on the lawn behind the Ahwahnee. 

As a further precaution, the Ahwahnee Hotel will remain closed this evening and the hotel will remain closed at least through Friday, August 28 at noon.  The area around the hotel will also remain closed and will be monitored throughout the upcoming days.  Guests at the Ahwahnee are being accommodated at other lodging facilities in the park and in surrounding communities.  Visitors with upcoming reservations at the Ahwahnee should call DNC Parks and Resorts at Yosemite, Inc. Central Reservations at 801-559-5000. 

Rockfalls are natural occurrences that have shaped, and continue to shape Yosemite Valley.  The natural processes that contribute to rockfall are part of the dynamics of nature.  Though impossible to predict or control, ongoing scientific analysis is being conducted to further understand this natural phenomenon.

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