SAN DIEGO – Several people along San Diego beaches reported smelling an unusual odor Wednesday afternoon, county officials said. The San Diego County Environmental Services are searched along the coast from Encinitas to downtown San Diego for the origin of the odor, according to San Diego County Health Department. The mysterious smell described as ‘jet fuel’, ‘bad chemical odor’, and ‘fabric softener’ was initially reported around 3 p.m., said San Diego Fire Department spokesman Maurice Luque.
“It was weird,” said one La Jolla employee. “I have not smelled it before.”
Some reported it smelled like tar, others said the odor resembled the stench of gas.
No one reported becoming sick from the odor, Luque said. Fire officials were not concerned of public safety as winds picked up and the smell decreased by the evening., Luque said. Engine crews investigated the widespread affected areas, including Del Mar Heights, Scripps Ranch, La Jolla, Hillcrest and downtown San Diego, finding no apparent source. “They can’t isolate what it is,” Luque said in the early evening. The unexplained phenomenon was similar to an episode that occurred about a year ago, when people in various San Diego beach areas began complaining of a lingering stink comparable to rotten eggs. Authorities eventually determined that decaying vegetation in and around estuaries and ocean inlets was to blame for the foul smell, Luque said. Air pollution control officials took samples of the air. Results are expected Thursday afternoon.
Sounds like a release of hydrogen sulfide gas to me…..Usually precursers to quakes.