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California residents were given 20 minutes to evacuate after neighborhood began sliding down hill

California residents were given 20 minutes to evacuate after neighborhood began sliding down hill

Horrifying footage showed houses and garages seemingly sinking into the land

California residents were given 20 minutes to evacuate after their neighborhood began sliding down a hill, with terrifying footage from officials showing the aftermath.

Over the weekend, 16 people were forced to flee their homes in Rolling Hills, a gated community in Southern California, due to what the LA County Fire Department described as a ‘sliding hillside’.

The fire department tweeted on Sunday (16 July) to say a dozen homes had been evacuated, posting a video that showed houses and garages seemingly sinking into the land, with large cracks on roads, driveways and lawns.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn confirmed she was notified the night before about the land movement and the evacuation.

Speaking at a press conference at the site yesterday – where she was joined by Rolling Hills Estates Mayor Britt Huff and officials from the county fire and public works departments, she said residents of the affected homes ‘were told they had 20 minutes to get their belongings and get out.”

A dozen homes had been evacuated.
Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

Hahn added that a fissure - a crack in the land associated with land subsidence - was winding its way between the affected homes, and that she could understand homeowners’ fears.

“I haven’t seen anything like this in my career,” she said.

“To think that these homes were intact yesterday afternoon and today to hear them creaking... These homes are going to fall.”

Huff also echoed her concern, saying: “This neighborhood was built in 1978 and it’s been solid for 45 years.

“So we’re very much in shock by what is happening here.”

According to the US Census Bureau, the median value of an owner-occupied home in the estate is nearly $1.5 million, with a median household income of more than $160,000.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn.
Robert Gauthier/Getty Images

The Rolling Hills are located on the northern side of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Los Angeles County, which is an area that has long been prone to landslides - especially a region on the south side known as the Portuguese Bend.

According to the LA Times, the dormant landslide complex was 'reactivated' 67 years ago, and is now threatening to destroy homes and infrastructure on the peninsula.

Officials say the landslide moves at a pace of roughly eight feet per year, although over the past 15 years, sections of land moved moved horizontally anywhere between 100 and 225 feet, as well as dropping vertically between eight and 18 feet.

“Something catastrophic is imminent,” City Manager Ara Mihranian told The Times back in March, having made slowly the landscape a primary focus since starting his role in 2019.

Featured Image Credit: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Topics: US News, Environment

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