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Calif. FFs evacuate residents as landslide tears apart a dozen homes

Video from the L.A. County Fire Department shows walls and roofs beginning to separate and ground shifts


Multiple homes were evacuated in the Los Angeles-area city after a major ground shift put them at risk of collapse.

Michael Hixon/The Orange County Register via AP

Associated Press

ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, Calif. — A dozen homes torn apart by earth movement on Southern California’s Palos Verdes Peninsula during the weekend were likely to fall into an adjacent canyon, an official said.

The homes in the Los Angeles County city of Rolling Hills Estates were hastily evacuated by firefighters on Saturday when cracks began appearing in structures and the ground.

Walls and roofs began to fail as the land continued to slide, the county Fire Department showed in video released on social media.

Significant land movement overnight completely destroyed the homes, Janice Hahn, chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, said in a social media post Sunday.

“To think that these homes were intact, you know, yesterday afternoon, and today you can hear the creaking, the cracking, the crumbling,” Hahn told a news conference Sunday. “They’re going to fall.”

The city was collaborating with county agencies and the Red Cross to support displaced residents, Mayor Britt Huff said in a statement.

Officials did not know yet what caused the earth movement, said Pete Goodrich, a Rolling Hills Estates building official.

Damaging landslides have occurred previously on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, which rises high above the Pacific on the county’s south coast and offers residents spectacular views of the ocean and greater Los Angeles.

A landslide that began in 1956 destroyed 140 homes in the Portuguese Bend area of the city of Rancho Palos Verdes, and earth continues to move there.

Among other notable earth movements on the peninsula, a 2011 slide severed the blufftop ocean road near White Point in the San Pedro section of Los Angeles.

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