The cliff face seen here collapsed during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake on October 17. This completely blocked access to Santa Cruz from Highway 1. Highway 1 runs in front of the cliff face in this photo. With Highway 17 blocked, Highway 9 blocked, and the bridge crossing the Pajaro river collapsed, Santa Cruz California was completely cut off from the outside world.
If it were not for the Watsonville Airport, there would have been no emergency supplies in Santa Cruz, and there would have been many more problems.