Video Shows Landslide Rip Homes From Foundation, Threatens To Dump Them Into California Canyon

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John Oyewale Contributor
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A massive ground shift destroyed 12 homes and forced the evacuation of 16 residents in a Los Angeles County neighborhood late Saturday night, according to reports and video.

Sixteen residents evacuated 12 Rolling Hills Estates townhomes located next to a canyon area, with power and gas shut off in a precautionary move, KTLA reported, citing the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Some residents had allegedly been hearing popping and cracking over a few days, and one of them alerted the local fire department that something was not right Saturday night, according to the outlet.

The ground kept shifting and the creaks and cracks continued, compromising the foundations of the affected buildings and causing them to cave in. Los Angeles Fire and Rolling Hills Estates building officials were present at the scene, as well as SoCal Edison and Southern California Gas Company crews, the outlet reported.

The ground moved at least six feet within 24 hours, fire department officials said, according to KTLA. No one was hurt, but many homeowners were scared and some were reportedly leaving the neighborhood. (RELATED: 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off The Coast Of Mexico)

Los Angeles County Board Chair Janice Hahn tweeted that she was at the scene in the small hours of Sunday morning and spoke with evacuated residents. She described the land movement as “significant” and “devastating” in another tweet, while promising “any assistance we can provide to these families and the city.”

“To think that these homes were intact, you know, yesterday afternoon, and today you can hear the creaking, the cracking, the crumbling. They’re going to fall,” Hahn said Sunday, according to the Associated Press (AP). She added that the evacuated homes were at risk of falling into the nearby canyon “sooner than later.”

Building officials said some ground shifting problems had occurred in the past but had never happened on such a scale before, KTLA reported. The reason for the land movement is not yet determined but geologists will be probing for an explanation of the event, according to the outlet.

The State of California lies on the over 800-mile-long, 10-mile-deep San Andreas fault system, and thousands of small earthquakes occur along the fault every year, with the two major historical earthquakes occurring in 1857 and 1906, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).