Los Angeles County Fire Department

‘Almost Like an Earthquake': Ground Collapses Between Condo Complexes

Residents at a La Habra condominium complex say a loud sound late Wednesday made them brace for a strong jolt from an earthquake -- but the shaking never arrived.

Instead, they looked outside after hearing the jarring sound to see the ground had collapsed. A sinkhole estimated at about 80 feet long opened up between two condominium complexes.

Firefighters responded about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday to the 900 block of West Imperial Highway and located the sinkhole, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

"It sounded like the starting of an earthquake," said resident Reina Menchaca. "That's what I thought it was, an earthquake, but nothing in the house was shaking."

The sinkhole is estimated at between 80 to 100 feet long and 20 feet wide in an area of green-space between the two residential buildings. The belt of grass and pine trees collapsed into a flood control channel.

At least one of the trees appeared to be leaning against the roof of a condo. 

"I was laying in bed and, all of the sudden, you feel this almost like an earthquake," said resident Ernie Najera. "Then I thought nothing of it and went back to bed. Then some commotion started outside. I walked out and there's a big hole."

Voluntary evacuations were underway.

The cause of the sinkhole was under investigation and Los Angeles County repair crews were on scene.

One condo was damaged. No injuries were reported.

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