Residents on crumbling Pacifica, California, cliff vow to stay

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Cliff Erosion Forces Out Residents on Crumbling Precipice

Cliffs just south of San Francisco offer apartment dwellers a million-dollar view for an affordable price.

But part of the bluff in the coastal community of Pacifica is crumbling, leaving several complexes teetering on the edge -- and threatening the homes where about 30 people live.

And despite city officials on Monday tagging about 20 units uninhabitable, some residents told NBC News that they're not budging.

See more from the scene:

12 PHOTOS
California cliff erosion
See Gallery
Residents on crumbling Pacifica, California, cliff vow to stay
Chunks of concrete hang over a cliff in Pacifica, California on January 26, 2016. Storms and powerful waves caused by El Nino have been intensifying erosion along nearby coastal bluffs and beaches in the area. / AFP / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
A patio hangs over a cliff in Pacifica, California on January 26, 2016. Storms and powerful waves caused by El Nino have been intensifying erosion along nearby coastal bluffs and beaches in the area. / AFP / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Houses hang over a cliff in Pacifica, California on January 26, 2016. Storms and powerful waves caused by El Nino have been intensifying erosion along nearby coastal bluffs and beaches in the area. / AFP / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Apartments are seen at the edge of an eroding cliff while residents evacuate in Pacifica, California on January 26, 2016. Storms and powerful waves caused by El Nino have been intensifying erosion along nearby coastal bluffs and beaches in the area. / AFP / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Sections of land are seen missing after falling to the sea in Pacifica, California on January 26, 2016, as storms and powerful waves caused by El Nino have been intensifying erosion along nearby coastal bluffs and beaches in the area. / AFP / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Sections of land are seen missing after falling to the sea in Pacifica, California on January 26, 2016, as storms and powerful waves caused by El Nino have been intensifying erosion along nearby coastal bluffs and beaches in the area. / AFP / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Houses hang over a cliff in Pacifica, California on January 26, 2016. Storms and powerful waves caused by El Nino have been intensifying erosion along nearby coastal bluffs and beaches in the area. / AFP / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
A view from a second story apartment shows a fence line (C) where an unstable cliff is in danger of giving way in Pacifica, California on January 26, 2016. Storms and powerful waves caused by El Nino have been intensifying erosion along nearby coastal bluffs and beaches in the area. / AFP / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Apartments are seen at the edge of an eroding cliff as residents evacuate in Pacifica, California on January 26, 2016. Storms and powerful waves caused by El Nino have been intensifying erosion along nearby coastal bluffs and beaches in the area. / AFP / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Two men help their mother evacuate from apartments set atop an eroding cliff in Pacifica, California on January 26, 2016. Storms and powerful waves caused by El Nino have been intensifying erosion along nearby coastal bluffs and beaches in the area / AFP / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Residents are seen evacuating their apartments due to an eroding cliff in Pacifica, California on January 26, 2016. Storms and powerful waves caused by El Nino have been intensifying erosion along nearby coastal bluffs and beaches in the area. / AFP / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Michelle Mackay is staying in her apartment in violation of the government orders.

"I love it here, and I'm not willing to leave," said Mackay, adding, "To say 'Oh, we have to go out' -- why? If it falls, it's not going to fall in 10 seconds. We'll have plenty of time to get out of the front door."

SEE MORE: Pacifica Cliff Erosion Forces Out Residents on Precipice

Longtime resident Jeff Bowman said he feels safe, too.

"I mean things happen for a reason," Bowman said. "I just think that they're making more out of that then they need to be."

But the danger is real. Since 2003, the sandstone cliffs of Pacifica have begun shearing off in storms. Other apartment buildings along Esplanade Avenue had to be evacuated six years ago, according to NBC Bay Area.

Then, as powerful storms from El Niño pummeled the coastline, officials last week declared a state of emergency. Drone video captured chunks of the cliffside eroding into the water hundreds of feet below -- sparking fears of a catastrophic collapse.

Bart Willoughby, an independent contractor hired by the Esplanade property owner to help plan for erosion, watched as some residents packed up their belongings for good. He lamented the inevitable loss of the homes.

"Where else can you live along the coast for like $1,500 a month?" he asked. "This is like a poor man's Malibu."

More from NBCNews.com:
Teens May Have Drunk Fatal Mixture of Racing Fuel, Soda
Principal Killed in Bus Crash Beloved By Students
'Affluenza' Teen Drops Appeal, Returning To U.S.

Read Full Story

People are Reading