Landslide in California might cause more to evacuate
ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, Calif. -- A major landslide continues to threaten more homes in a Los Angeles County town after 12 were destroyed when the hillside gave way and began sliding into the canyon below on Saturday.
Cracks and movement could be heard as ABC Los Angeles affiliate KABC reported from the Rolling Hills Estates, California scene Sunday afternoon. Officials fear the continuing landslide will force more people to evacuate, leaving more residents devastated.
Homeowners new and seasoned in the neighborhood are left homeless after they were forced to evacuate shortly after a water leak was reported at around 4 p.m. Saturday. But residents say they had been hearing cracks under their homes as far back as Thursday.
"We thought something was amiss because all through the day and night we heard cracks in the house," said one resident evacuated, Weber Yen. "And then, you know, the frequency became more and more frequent."
A total of 16 people have been evacuated. They were given about 20 minutes to grab some things and leave their homes.
Other residents in the area said they were concerned more evacuations would be handed down.
"I was up actually, most of the night, worrying about what's going to happen," said Mimi Borg. "They told us that they would knock on our door if we had to be evacuated."
Utilities have been shut off in the area as officials investigate the landslide's cause.
One official speculated that it may have been caused by water evaporating in the ground.
Some residents say an ongoing water leak may be to blame, as they said one homeowner received a $1,000 water bill and was told that they had a leak.
"Gardeners noticed a sub terrain, he called it a river. I never witnessed that. But, (the) pipe when it was broken, was gushing to the surface. So, you had a lot of erosion, subgrade, for two weeks at least," said Greg Brooks.
In a tweet Sunday morning, L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn said "significant land movement overnight" destroyed the homes.
Hahn said the neighborhood was first built in 1978 and had been solid until this weekend.
"I've never seen anything like this in my career," Hahn said. "I would never think that these homes that were intact, you know, yesterday afternoon and today you could hear the creaking, the cracking, the crumbling and they're going to fall."