Destructive Southern California landslide slows but more homes ordered evacuated as sewer breaks

Jul 12, 2023, 8:21 AM

Damaged homes are torn apart by earth movement in the Los Angeles County city of Rolling Hills Esta...

Damaged homes are torn apart by earth movement in the Los Angeles County city of Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., on Monday, July 10, 2023. The dozen homes torn apart were hastily evacuated by firefighters Saturday when cracks began appearing in structures and the ground. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, Calif. (AP) — A landslide that has destroyed homes in a Southern California community appeared to have slowed but more residences were evacuated.

Five additional homes were ordered evacuated Tuesday because earth movement broke a sewer line, although those homes had not moved, the city of Rolling Hills Estates said in a statement.

The landslide began Saturday atop the Palos Verdes Peninsula on the south Los Angeles County coast. Firefighters discovered cracks in structures and the ground, and hastily evacuated residents from 12 homes that were red-tagged as unsafe.

Ten of those homes were then dramatically torn apart over several days as they slid down a slope into an adjacent canyon.

Mayor Britt Huff said measurements late Tuesday afternoon marked the first time earth movement had slowed to a point where “it may be maxed out.”

The City Council voted Tuesday night to declare a local emergency, a step that allows the city to request funds from the state Office of Emergency Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The cause of the slide has yet to be determined but authorities have noted the massive rainfall that hit California during winter as the state was battered by repeated atmospheric rivers.

Officials have said the homeowners association was in the process of hiring a geologist.

Rolling Hills Estates, with a population of 8,000, is one of several small cities on the peninsula where homes have expansive vistas of the Pacific and greater Los Angeles.

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Destructive Southern California landslide slows but more homes ordered evacuated as sewer breaks